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Losing Control of Schools

Last month, in a conversation in a local business, I discovered that the two people I was speaking with, had between them three children, two boys and one girl, who were excluded from school in the same week. The two boys for pornography offenses and the girl for disruptive behaviour. The parents felt that their children had been wronged, even though there was no argument over whether they were innocent or not.

The parents felt it was counter-productive to exclude the children from school for these offenses and that headteachers would now exclude unruly or difficult pupils at "The drop of a hat." The parents did however not appear overly embarrassed that their children had been excluded.

The Observer article, which will be the basis for a documentary examining the collapse of order in British schools next week next week, has a supply teacher, secretly filming her experiences at a number of schools over the year. "My role", she writes, "was just one of crowd control. I felt useless." She describes boys openly using mobile phones to download pornography, accessing obscene websites on school computers and making serious sexual suggestions to her.

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