State schools ‘should take tips from the private sector’
- Dec. 9, 2010
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Headmaster of Wellington College, Andy Seldon, suggests that state schools should instil discipline in their pupils by implementing house systems, as used in the private sector.
Mr Seldon has suggested that schools use uniforms or insignia to indicate which house pupils belong to, and also calls for Headmasters to introduce American-style ‘honour codes’, setting out what behaviour is deemed acceptable on school property.
“House systems are central and too few state schools have them” says Seldon. “They often form the core unit of identity of the student, so rather than seeing themselves belonging to a school of maybe 1,000, they attach themselves to a house unit of perhaps only 50 other students. Older students are given important jobs in looking after the young and close bonds form between students and teachers.”
Mr Seldon, however, also points to motivation, pupils coming from homes were good manners are more ingrained and teacher-to-pupil ratio’s being half of those in the state sector, as being possible reasons for the such disciplined children.
He adds: “The best guarantor of good behaviour in independent schools is often the students themselves being intolerant of the poor behaviour of other students.”
Mr Seldon’s comments are all in ‘Classroom of Today: Seat of Learning or Educational Warzone’ – a series of articles on discipline published by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, Maggie Atkinson.