Dunce's Corner Banned; It Could Breach a Pupil's Human Rights, Say Councils
Byline: Ryan Kisiel
IT has been used as a punishment in schools since Victorian times.
Unruly pupils have been made to stand in the 'dunce's corner' by teachers so that the lesson can carry on without further disruptions.
But now health and safety chiefs have warned that the practice is cruel, describing it as a 'stress position' that could breach a child's human rights.
Schools have received guidelines from local education authorities saying that standing children in the corner is unsuitable and a less physical alternative should be used.
Some teachers won't use the punishment because it 'humiliates' pupils in front of their classmates.
They are now advised to ask the pupil making a nuisance to explain to the class why he is interrupting the lesson. The Daily Mail has learned that some primary and secondary schools in Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Devon, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Oxfordshire, Sussex and Gwent, South Wales, have banned the punishment.
In Scotland, official guidelines for staff working with younger children also ban the practice on the grounds that it 'devalues the child'.
However, traditionalists have attacked the idea of a ban, saying teachers will end up with no means left to control disruptive pupils.
Nick Seaton, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, called it 'a ridiculous idea that compares what goes on in a classroom to Guantanamo Bay'.
He added: 'Discipline is a major problem in classrooms and teachers have to have some solutions for children who disrupt them or the whole system will fall apart.
'We're getting to the stage where teachers will not have any punishments at all. The hooligans will end up ruling the classroom. …