Detentions: FAQ

Why have detentions?

In the same way that parents or carers use praise, reward and the removal of privileges to encourage their children to behave in the way that they would wish, the school also uses rewards and sanctions.  Sanctions include detentions.

The purpose of detentions is to reinforce that certain behaviours or attitudes are not acceptable.  In more serious ongoing matters, detentions also serve as a form of warning that failure to correct misbehaviour could lead to removal from the school in order to protect others’ education or well-being.

What are the common types of detention?

Detentions are the most common form of sanction used in the school, varying from personal detentions set by staff for various lower level misdemeanours, to year or department detentions, to Leadership and Key Stage detentions.  Detentions can range from a few minutes to 2 hours (or more) at Key Stage detentions.  There is a hierarchy of seriousness which is shown below:

  • Personal detentions
  • Year or department detentions
  • Leadership detention
  • Key Stage detention

Detentions are a form of “time out” from social time at break or lunchtime, or at the end of the school day.  The vast majority of students dislike the loss of freedom imposed by detentions and whether they are asked to undertake work, reflect on the behaviour that has caused the detention or simply be removed from a time they value, we hope that this will encourage them to change this part of their behaviour.

What are Leadership and Key Stage detentions?

These are the most serious level of detention set.  Failure to attend these usually leads to exclusion together with an expectation that the detention is completed upon return to the school.

Leadership detentions are set for failure to attend school or department detentions amongst other matters.  They last for 90 minutes.  Key Stage detentions can be set for serious offences where the option of exclusion is not used.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do I get 24 hours notice of any detention which is set at the end of the day?

No; the legal requirement for this has now gone. However, the school would not set a long detention (i.e. over 30 minutes) without having passed on notification to parents/carers.  See Detention Procedures for more information.

How will I know if my child has a detention or other sanction?

All detentions, Year, Department, School Leadership and Key Stage detentions will be available to view on the IRIS system.  The school will also usually email parents/carers the evening of the school day before the detention for any of the detentions listed in this paragraph.  

Can I refuse a detention set for my child?

No. The school is legally entitled to set and impose detentions, and does not require parent/carer permission to do so. However, if you feel that there is evidence that the school has not considered in making this decision, then we would encourage you to contact the member of staff, department or Year Team concerned.