Dad slams Ramsey school’s zero-tolerance approach

Ramsey Abbey Zero Tolerance Objections, Matthew Badcock, at his home in Ramsey with a letter from the school

Ramsey Abbey Zero Tolerance Objections, Matthew Badcock, at his home in Ramsey with a letter from the school

Archant

A MAN has refused to let his son go to school for fear he will be put in “isolation” for breaking Abbey College’s zero-tolerance rules.

Joseph Badcock, of Newtown Road, Ramsey, was given a 30-minute after-school detention after he forgot to bring a pencil to school – falling foul of the college’s new policy of punishing all misdemeanours, no matter how small.

The 15-year-old got another detention for drinking during a science lesson.

His father Matthew, pictured, told the school that Joseph was not permitted to stay behind at the end of the day because he suffers from Crohn’s Disease. Instead, the school said Joseph had to be put in isolation, which meant he would be supervised by a member of staff teaching another class, and away from his usual peers.

But the thought troubled Joseph so much that he absconded from school for an hour on Tuesday last week and the police were brought in to find him, Mr Badcock said. The school told the family it would not budge on its policy and sent a letter, hand-delivered by a PCSO, stating its expectations.

Joseph has been home for a week and Mr Badcock said he would not give in to the school’s demands.

“I am happy for him to do lunchtime detentions but there is no way I am disturbing family time after school,” he said. “I am not sending him back to school to be isolated.”

Deputy headteacher Andy Christoforou said it was important the school had the zero-tolerance measures in place.

He said: “It is not a big deal to say to students ‘bring your pen into school’.”

The motivation for the regulations, he said, was the realisation amongst teachers that students could be missing up to five weeks of learning time every year because of low-level disruptions in class, as previously reported by The Hunts Post.

“We think those extra five weeks would be valuable,” he said. “We want students to have the maximum learning time.”

Lunchtime detentions were not an option because staff and pupils needed to have breaks in order to function best during the school day, Mr Christoforou said, but he admitted: “We know that not everyone is going to get everything right. However, we are doing them no favours if we do not have these rules.

“Employers say they are looking for people who respond politely and turn up to work on time. It will stand them in good stead in the future.”

On Tuesday, Mr Christoforou offered to allow Joseph to take his detentions during breaktime.

However, Mr Badcock said the system was not good for all pupils, especially Joseph.

In a letter to Mr Christoforou, he said the school’s policy “adds to the stress Joseph is feeling and is detrimental to his health and well-being”.

4 comments

  • Well let me guess the school turns around daily as says no bullying goes on in this school, yet doing what the have done has been rightly described as isolation. Isolation = bullying. Having read this with total disbelief the school are happy to pay for meals and free school trips for kids whose parents can't be bothered to get off the couch and get a job, but you forget a pencil it's the end of the world ! Working class people targeted yet again !! The school as part of its budget sets aside money for stationary but it can't supply one to a pupil, a pencil costs 20 pence As for the rubbish of teachers not doing detention on lunch break as its not good education wise, the truth should be the teachers want their break so they can go out for a fag and fill their faces . This school is sadly on a power trip and I'm disgusted by the whole lot

    Report this comment

    The babypoos

    Friday, December 14, 2012

  • Well let me guess the school turns around daily as says no bullying goes on in this school, yet doing what the have done has been rightly described as isolation. Isolation = bullying. Having read this with total disbelief the school are happy to pay for meals and free school trips for kids whose parents can't be bothered to get off the couch and get a job, but you forget a pencil it's the end of the world ! Working class people targeted yet again !! The school as part of its budget sets aside money for stationary but it can't supply one to a pupil, a pencil costs 20 pence As for the rubbish of teachers not doing detention on lunch break as its not good education wise, the truth should be the teachers want their break so they can go out for a fag and fill their faces . This school is sadly on a power trip and I'm disgusted by the whole lot

    Report this comment

    The babypoos

    Friday, December 14, 2012

  • Take the detention and move on. Come on life isnt fair and one rule never suits all but hey thats a life lesson, get used to it. My experience is that parents that complain about the minutiary generally have poor performing kids and its their way of finding someone or something to blame for what they know will be an unremarkable educational performance. In my day you would have probably got the strap for not having your equipment.

    Report this comment

    taxpayer1960

    Saturday, December 15, 2012

  • Im a mum of a pupil at this school and i totally agree with the post above. Ramsey Abbey College has become nothing more than a detention centre. I agree with giving punishment for those who break rules and for those who are constantly misbehaving, but this new no tolerance rubbish is ridiculous. My son was put in isolation and due to sit an exam. The teacher forgot about him and he was twenty minutes late. Maybe teachers should think about their time keeping as thats not good practiice in being in employment if you dont turn up on time. This school is full of bullying teachers and staff and its making children not want to go to school. School is supposed to be one of the fun times in your life, but how can it be happy when your going to prison everyday. I have never heard such a load of rubbish about forgetting a pencil. I in my job have to write all day about people but have never yet been told to go home because ive forgotten my pen or because i have the wrong coloured socks on as which ive heard was another pathetic isolation matter. This school needs to start thinking more about teaching the pupils instead of ridiculing them and putting them into isolation is definately a power trip for the teachers. Maybe the school should think about teaching children all about the human rights act and whistleblowing etc maybe things would be a little different . Yes this school is on a power trip and they need to get off it .

    Report this comment

    Tracey Bays

    Saturday, December 15, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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