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Last Updated: Monday, 8 October 2007, 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK
Disruptive pupils to learn alone
Isolation booths
Pupils are being put in isolation instead of being excluded from class
Pupils who persistently disrupt classes are being excluded from their peers but are not being sent home.

Instead of being suspended or expelled, pupils who fail to obey the rules at King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds, are taught in isolation.

They are put into booths built into an exclusion room where they are monitored by staff and CCTV to ensure they do not talk or send text mobile phone texts.

Head teacher Geoff Barton said: "It's proving a very powerful deterrent."

In 2006 more than 6,000 pupils in Suffolk were excluded from school and special rooms were introduced to help keep the children learning while they were punished for being persistently disruptive.

Separate break tiems

Pupils can be sent to the exclusion room for the duration of one lesson, a day or a whole week in the trial that is being run at King Edward VI School.

"It's got quite a mythology to it already, with students talking about it and wondering what it would be like to be in there," Mr Barton added.

"It's a very safe, straightforward way to make sure a student who has misbehaved has time to reflect and to change their behaviour when they are reintegrated later on."

The students have separate break times and are supervised at meals so they cannot communicate even with others in isolation.

Tom Goddard, one of the first pupils put in isolation, said time in the exclusion room is making him address his behaviour at school.

"I think I will try because I do not want to be in here again, because I do not like it. It's just boring.

"If there was no cameras you could phone, but you can't do that because obviously there's cameras and you just get into more trouble, so you just get on with your work and make the time go by."

One pupil sent to the exclusion room said it does act as a deterrent

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22 Jul 05 |  Education

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