9. Feb, 2018


As this headteacher makes clear, not everything of value in education can be reduced to a spreadsheet. Our children are complex individuals that need nurturing, and some need additional support. Not a one-size-fits-all curriculum or behaviour policy.
"The unkindness within education may be driven by punitive high stakes accountability systems that incentivise schools to remove children least likely to achieve and impede the attainment of others. But, the promotion of zero tolerance in schools leaves me asking what is happening to our nation’s lost children?

Are they falling victim to a system overly concerned with appearances, proud of being hard on offenders, taking revenge on the vulnerable? Rather than a ruthless enforcement of zero tolerance, I would prefer our schools to reflect the words of Shakespeare in As You Like It – “Kindness, nobler ever than revenge.”"
Siobhan Collingwood is the headteacher of Morecambe Bay Community Primary School

Headteacher Siobhan Collingwood embedded a culture of zero tolerance in her school. Within a year, she'd scrapped the system. Here, she explains why