Detentions: FAQ

Why have detentions?

In the same way that parents or carers use praise, rewards 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 eventually lead to removal from the school in order to protect others’ education or well-being.

Detentions serve as both a deterrent to any student considering making a poor choice and make consequences clear to those who have done so.  This is a key part of ensuring that the school is and orderly and respectful environment, helps prevent minor issues from escalating and makes the behavioural boundaries of the school community clear for students.

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 at Key Stage detentions.  There is a hierarchy of seriousness which is shown below and detentions will escalate if a student does not attend the first detention set.  All of the below take place at the end of the school day:

• Personal detention (10 to 20 minutes)

• Year or Department detentions (30 or 60 minutes)

• Leadership detentions (90 minutes)

• Key Stage detentions (2 hours)

There are also Social Time Restrictions where a student’s privilege of being out with their peers at break or lunchtime is temporarily withdrawn.  

What do students do in detentions?

Students are set appropriate work to complete in their detentions and are expected to do so in silence.  Wherever possible, reflective work regarding why the detention was set is also carried out and/or discussion with the staff member who set the detention.  

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 it is decided that this is an appropriate option instead of exclusion.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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

No.  There is no legal requirement. However, the school would not set a long detention (i.e. over 30 minutes) without having passed on notification to parents/carers.

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

All detentions noted above, apart from the shorter Personal Detentions, will be available to view on the IRIS system.  In some cases, the school will 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, or a detention has been set in error, then we would encourage you to contact your child’s Year Team to discuss matters in the first instance.  Often, a phone call will clarify matters very quickly.

We expect all parents/carers to ensure that their child complies with the school’s behavioural and reward systems – these are essential to us maintaining a well-ordered school environment in which all students can fulfil their potential.  

For any student that refuses to attend detentions, further consequences will apply.  If a child persistently refuses to engage in any school sanctions, this undermines the orderly running of the school and may result in permanent exclusion.