This is why a Blackpool primary school is bringing in after school detention for its Year 6 pupils

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A North Shore primary school is taking the unusual step of bringing in after school detentions for its Year 6 pupils .

But the headteacher at Westminster Primary Academy said the move was simply a case of a little tough love to help them get used to conditions when they move to high school.

Right, Roger Farley, principal at Westminster Primary Academy

Right, Roger Farley, principal at Westminster Primary Academy

Roger Farley said most schools have the sanction available to use but few take such action.

He has written to parents to explain the move and said the few after school detentions they have carried out have been fully supported by the parents of the pupils.

He said: “It is not for the whole school, just for our Year 6 children.

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“And we have only brought it in for the summer term, their last before they go on to secondary school.

“We are part of the Fylde Coast Academy Trust (FCAT) and the trust operates after school detentions as part of the behaviour policy.

“This is about reminding them that certain standards of behaviour are expected in school and indeed outside of schools.

“It is something we thought we would do to help with the transition to their secondary schools.

“We have consulted with the parents and in the detentions we have had so far they have been very supportive of the action.”

Parents would be given at least 24 hours notice of the detention, which would only last half an hour, and if there was any doubt about the child’s safety after school an alternative sanction could be found.

He said the children in Year 6 were expected to take more responsibility and be more mature in their behaviour.

He said they had to understand that in life there would be consequences for bad behaviour.

The children are about to start their SATs examinations and have been doing homework in preparation.

Mr Farley has written to parents to explain the situation and to thank them for supporting the children in this crucial period in their education.

In the letter he says that as they are the senior year of the school they are expected to “conduct themselves in a more mature manner.”

He said many of the Year 6 children were already taking on extra responsibility for their learning and as helpers and monitors.

He says: “To further prepare the children, we will be adopting a similar behaviour sanction to Blackpool high schools’ after school detentions.

“This sanction has always been available in our school but I thought I would write to draw your attention to it.”

He says that the school would always give 24 hours notice to parents of the detention and ensure that no such detentions would be given without contact with parents or guardians.

Westminster, which was known as Claremont Community Primary until September 2017 when FCAT took over, carries details of its pupil sanctions for bad behaviour on its website.

These range from loss of playtime, loss of up to 15 minutes of a pupil’s lunch break up to after school detention – parents and carers must be given 24 hours notice. The Government has published guidelines on after school detentions.

It says: “School staff should not issue a detention where they know that doing so would compromise a child’s safety.

“When ensuring that a detention outside school hours is reasonable, staff issuing the detention should consider the following points: Whether the detention is likely to put the pupil at risk.

Whether the pupil has known caring responsibilities which mean that the detention is unreasonable. “Whether the parents ought to be informed of the detention. In many cases it will be necessary to do so, but this will depend on the circumstances. For instance, notice may not be necessary for a short after school detention where the pupil can get home safely; and whether suitable travel arrangements can be made by the parent for the pupil.

“It does not matter if making these arrangements is inconvenient for the parent.”