Parents, Teachers and Pupils Respond to Zero Tolerance

PUBLISHED: 15:39 11 April 2011

Catherine Jenkinson-Dix

Catherine Jenkinson-Dix

Archant

After our story on the new zero tolerance policy at the City of Ely Community College was published last week, hundreds of parents from all over the country contacted national newspaper, radio and television programmes to express their views on the controversial decision by principal Catherine Jenkinson-Dix to take a firm line with pupils who break the rules.

A CRACKDOWN on bad behaviour at an Ely school has received a mixed reaaction from parents after the story hit the national media at the end of last week.

After our story on the new zero tolerance policy at the City of Ely Community College was published last week, hundreds of parents from all over the country contacted national newspaper, radio and television programmes to express their views on the controversial decision by principal Catherine Jenkinson-Dix to take a firm line with pupils who break the rules.

The Ely Standard reported that on the first day of the crackdown at the Ely school, based in Downham Road, about 235 pupils were sent to the school hall for what the school deemed bad behaviour. Misdemeneours ranged from using mobile phones and running in the corridors to the wearing of odd socks.

Parent Amanda King contacted us to say the school was “wreaking the education” of her offspring and said other parents were unhappy about the new regime also. However, college principal Catherine Jenkinson-Dix told us that she had received a largely positive reponse from both pupils and parents.

She said: “I know that some parents have found the new measures difficult but from my perspective these are the sort of things that are expected in the work place. I wrote to all the students and told them these were our expected standards and that anyone who did not respond to that would be in isolation in the hall.”

“I want to stress however, that these are not new rules, they have been in student planners for some time, what is different is how we are dealing with the people who do not meet expected standards.”

Here is a selection of the comments we have received. See this week’s Ely Standard (out Thursday) for all the responses in full.

“Well done Mrs Jenkinson-Dix. I work in a school experiencing the same problems as yours. School rules are normally quite clear and should be enforced as they are in the workplace and as they should be in the home.

I have more trouble from the parents than I do the children, who don’t even take the time to appreciate that school staff have another viewpoint and version of events. views of their child. We need more headteachers like you Mrs Jendinson-Dix,” Nigel Dermott.

“I am a student at the school and even before this zero tolerance rule, the school was about number four in the UK’s strictest schools.

So why do they need to be the best? Is it a competition? Before the zero tolerance rule, the school’s behavior had been just fine. Naughty students had gone to isolation or detention and students could actually walk around the school without a shadow at their back all the time

We could actually have a drink between lessons and wear coloured socks or even dye our hair in our own style. And what is wrong with wearing coloured socks or having a streak of colour in your hair? It’s not as though it distracts our learning,” Farge.

“The principle is fine, but not the theory. When a teacher turns up to my place of industry to see a work experience placement with his shirt hanging out and with writing over his hands and arms, it does not go down well,” Mutley

“Mrs King may not have got a letter as her child may have chosen not to give it to her. I think the new changes are a great idea. When I went to Ely school, the other students judged you on the way you looked, whether it be if you had the latest shoes, wore make-up or how high you skirt was etc. With the new rules, hopefully, any bullying would be reduced and the students would be happier going to school. I do agree that teachers should follow the new rules as well and lead by example,” Kerrie.

“Well done to Ely Community College. It’s about time the teachers had some authority in schools. The rules have been known to students since they started in Year 7 but just have not been put into practice.

If parents backed up the school and gave a bit of discipline at home, too, then this would not have come as such a shock.

My children both know how I feel about this and if they are put in the hall then so be it – they shouldn’t misbehave.

They have rules at home and if they break them then they get into trouble – simple,” Anon.

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