Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has decided to shake up the rules on discipline in schools. It seems that the “no touch” classroom rule is to be scrapped.

He has decided that teachers should be allowed to physically restrain unruly children. And they should be allowed to console victims of playground bullying.

It’s something I’ve heard a lot of parents talk about, and the majority will be in favour of this, I’m sure.

Personally, I have no problem with teachers being allowed to restrain “unruly” children. In fact, I have a whole list of suggested methods for that – though top of the list is ensuring that incompetent teachers lose their jobs, and that only those teachers who can command respect and keep control by sheer force of personality and confidence should work in education.

Having a staff that can actually do the job they are paid to do seems like a good start.

Anyway, I digress. One interesting fact to surface was that there IS no “no touch rule”. Gove, himself, said that there are no nationally imposed rules preventing teachers from touching pupils. He also said that some schools adopt a “no touch” policy because they fear complaints from pupils who are restrained or comforted by teachers.

The “no touch” rule, as far as I can ascertain – and as far as Michael Gove can ascertain – is a myth. It’s nonsense. It doesn’t exist.

In fact, he went on to say that “There are a number of schools that have ‘no touch’ policies and we are going to make clear this rule does not apply.”

Ah, I see. This is something the high-heid yins in the schools have introduced and maintained. Now, they are being told it’s not on.

Quite right. There is not a parent I know who, if their kid fell in the playground and was crying and bleeding, wouldn’t want a teacher to comfort them.

What kind of society have we become where those in education make up a rule that they have to strand idly by while my child – any child – is breaking its heart?

And why? Because it’s easier than dealing with a complaint.

I’m sure the majority of level-headed teachers would ignore the rule, anyway. At least, I would hope so.

Drew McAdam


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