Meditation could replace school detention, suggests councillor

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Meditation could replace school detention, suggests councillor
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Persistent disruptive behaviour is the main cause of exclusions in Nottingham

A councillor has called on schools to offer meditation classes to disruptive pupils rather than putting them in detention.

Shuguftah Quddoos, who represents the Berridge ward at Nottingham City Council, made the suggestion during a discussion about exclusion rates at secondary schools.

Nottingham has one of the highest exclusion rates in England.

The idea was put to chief executives from two local school trusts.

'Punitive culture'

Speaking at a Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee meeting on Thursday, Ms Quddoos said she was not convinced detention was the best approach for vulnerable young people.

"You get a detention, and that detention becomes another one," the Labour councillor said.

"That punitive culture in schools if you are not on time, you are sanctioned, and it escalates.

"It is that culture. Could we not offer other sanctions?

"Rather than give a child a detention what about half an hour meditation at the end of the day."

'Pupils need routine'

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said the committee was discussing the high level of exclusion rates among secondary school pupils across the city.

Nottingham is ranked eighth out of 152 local authorities in England for its number of exclusions, with persistent disruptive behaviour as the main cause.

The vast majority of those excluded were boys.

Ms Quddoos suggested meditation to the Archway Learning Trust and Djanogly Learning Trust, which run a number of schools across the city.

However, both chief executives disagreed there was a "punitive culture" and said pupils needed routines and to follow routines "in preparation for life".

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