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Rulergate: Detention for hundreds of kids.

HUNDREDS of Huddersfield children were given detention - for forgetting items like rubbers and sharpeners. Furious parents told their sons and daughters to boycott the punishment as Colne Valley Specialist Art College launched a stationery crackdown on the first day of the new term.

The school texted parents during the Easter break saying that children would receive a detention if they failed to bring: ? A planner diary ? Apen ? A pencil ? A sharpener ? A rubber ? A ruler ? A calculator Anna Norman, 16, of Crimble was one of hundreds of children given a detention after teachers carried out equipment checks first thing yesterday.

Her mother Clare told the Examiner: "They went through everyone's pencil case with a checklist. If anything was missing, they got a detention.

"Anna texted me to say she got an after-school detention because she didn't have a sharpener.

"There are 22 people in her form group and 20 of them got detention."

Mrs Norman said the crackdown was disruptive.

"I rang the school and explained that Anna had rugby practice after school and she would miss her bus home," she said.

"It's upsetting because my daughter has never been in trouble and this detention will go on her record."

Sarah Sykes, of Manchester Road in Slaithwaite, told her daughter Hannah, 11, not to go to detention.

She said: "Are they running a military school or a high school? "I think it's absolutely ridiculous - they are not running an army camp.

"I think they have taken it too far and I told the school that my daughter would not be going to the after-school detention."

Linthwaite woman Sharon Moorhouse, 48, has a grand-niece at the school.

And the 13-year-old's parents told her not to go to detention yesterday.

Mrs Moorhouse said: "She got a detention for forgetting a calculator.

* TEXT: The detention Sarah Sykes about I think it's absolutely disgusting.

"She didn't go to the detention and I think she did right."

Amelia Fabregas, 15, of Marsden got a detention for not bringing in her sharpener.

Her mother Tanya, 42, said: "I thought the text from the school meant you would get a detention if you didn't bring in your pencil case - not just one individual item.

"I think it's laughable that she got a detention for not having a sharpener.

"There are far more important things like truancy and disrespecting teachers. It's unnecessary to give out detentions for something silly like forgetting a sharpener or a ruler.

"I had to break off from making the tea to go and collect Amelia after detention."

A pupil told the Examiner last night: "I got a detention today for not having my calculator, even though I didn't have maths today.

"My calculator was not at home, it was in my maths classroom because that is where I keep it.

"Even though I told my teacher that I did have it in another classroom, she still gave out an after-school detention."

message sent to daughter Hannah At 10am yesterday head teacher Carol Gormley told pupils in assembly that at least 200 children had been given a one-hour detention after school.

The number is believed to have risen during the day and may have got as high as 500 - one in three pupils at the Linthwaite school.

Mrs Gormley told the Examiner last night: "During the last term we experienced a huge increase in the number of students routinely arriving at school without the basic items of equipment we expect them to have each day.

"It is extremely disruptive to learning when large volumes of students need to borrow equipment from their teacher or our Student Services bureau.

"We educate our students to be responsible for their own organisation and it is unacceptable to arrive at school without basic equipment.

"Before the Easter holidays I wrote to every parent and carer stating our concern at the scale of the problem caused by this persistent lack of equipment. I stated that the sanction after the holidays for failing to bring a full set of basic equipment would be an automatic after school detention.

"Our aim was to allow parents the two-week holiday period in which to ensure their child had all the required equipment.

"A text message was sent on Wednesday last week as a reminder of the expected list of equipment and of the sanction for failure to bring the equipment from the start of this term.

"A check was carried out this morning and students without all their basic equipment have been issued with the after-school detention.

"We hope that parents understand that the cumulative effect of large numbers of students arriving routinely at lessons without basic equipment has a detrimental effect on learning and that they will support us while we address this issue. "It can be difficult for parents to appreciate how much this particular problem can get in the way of teaching in such a large school. We expect the prospect of a detention to act as an incentive to students to take responsibility for bringing all their equipment in future".


* TEXT: The detention message sent to Sarah Sykes about daughter Hannah
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Apr 17, 2012
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