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There are many issues that have arisen since the abolition of corporal punishment, the general discipline in school today can sometimes be very poor. Children often have little respect for the teachers and are aware of the fact that they cannot be punished physically, peer pressure means that bad behaviour can be reinforced and patterns can emerge that are difficult to break. A valid reason that there are often strong parent/school links is that it can help with discipline problems.

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If the school can work together with the parents to deal with problem behaviour then a solution can be found to sort it out. Unfortunately there are parents who do not want their child to be disciplined, have no respect for the school staff, and their views are passed down and are evidenced with the behaviour of their child. Children with severe problems can now be assessed as Special Needs, this means that the school can acquire special funding for a Learning Assistant to work closely with the child in question.

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This can be a good way of overcoming barriers to learning and hopefully give the child time and attention to improve their attitude. Discipline is much more child-orientated, the reasons for problem behaviour are looked for and assessed so that learning can take place. It is a complete contrast to the strict fear and regimented way that many schools were run years ago. Making sure that the child has the best opportunity to get a good education is something that schools take very seriously and a lot of time and effort is put into this.

Another thing that seems to have changed is that discipline generally takes place within the classroom, years ago the Head teacher was feared and children sent to see them for punishment. The modern approach tends to use that method as a last resort, teachers try to deal with discipline problems themselves as they happen and only involve the Head teacher if the situation becomes more serious.

This had made the relationship between the Head teacher and the children a more positive one. Some would say that the pendulum has swung too far the other way and that there is little respect in schools today, but it is a very difficult thing to balance. One of the things that many people would say is that there are always new things that can be learned and new attitudes that treat the children individually must be seen as a step in the right direction.

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Kylie Garcia

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