Sanctions in Schools: Negative Consequences for Students - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1848 Words
Date:  2023-03-26


A sanction may include deprivation of some privileges like sports, breaks, removal from class, detention, or confiscation of prohibited materials in school. It can also be when students are given some activities to complete by the teachers (Miller, Ferguson, and Simpson1998). The sanction is not a good way to correct students in schools as it has negative consequences in both psychology and the academic levels of students. This, therefore, means that the school administrations in the United Kingdom have to put in place the best alternative method of correcting students whenever they veer off the required norms in the school. The focus of this paper is to provide reasons for avoiding sanctions in United Kingdom schools.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Can Primary Schools Give Detentions and the Point of Detention?

The main significance of detention is to enhance the behavior of students. It can have a resulting effect of baring students from misbehaving and hence giving them the opportunity to have a reflection of their actions (Milleret et al. 1998). However, it is worth noting that a conducive environment should be created for students in schools to give them an opportunity of choosing how to behave themselves. In cases of serious misbehaviors, schools can make use of detention as a kind of sanction to help control the behaviors of students. The education Act 1997 provides authority to schools to have students detained on disciplinary grounds (Miller et al. 1998). With the exception of non-maintained and independent schools, all school schools have a vivid legal authority to detain students with or without the consent of the parents. This takes care of after school and lunchtime detection.

However, prior to the introduction of detention as a form of a sanction, it is a good practice for school headteachers to inform parents, guardians, staff, and pupils of the introduction of detention as well as the underlying conditions that may lead to detention. This will make parents, pupils, and the staff is psychologically prepared hence making any detentions actions not to be received as a surprise for the individuals who fall victim to detention (Woods 2008). Once the headteacher has made all stakeholders be aware of the detention policy, they should not be in a position of challenging the legitimacy of the detention since there were informed of it. The law also safeguards the parents' and children's legitimate rights and ensures that detention is administered on children in a reasonable way whenever they misbehave. This, therefore, implies that detention has to be appropriate and proportional to the offenses committed (Woods 2008). Pupils should have detention imposed on them by the headteacher or any other authorized teacher to do so. Why imposing detention, schools need to consider various aspects of the pupil such as age, religious needs, special educational requirements, and whether the pupil's parents or guardians may find it easy to make arrangements for their children to get home after the expiry of detention.

Is Detention an Effective Punishment for Students?

Detention may be termed as a very vital kind of punishment to pupils who register misbehaviors of some sort. It can help in stopping pupils from continuing with misbehaving activities and provide them with the opportunity to perform a self-evaluation of their actions (Gordon, Smyth, and Cornell 2016). There are various ways in which detention may prove effective for students. For instance, while considering the time factor, when students are deprived of some time, they get some sense in obeying the instructions of the teacher and hence try their level best in their classroom activities. For instance, pupils who happen to be late for lessons may be made to remain in school after classes have terminated. Detention may turn to be significant, especially when dealing with pupils who are disrespectful and rude, cheat on assignments, and skip classes (Gordon et al. 2016). Though, if students are detained for reasons such as coming to class unprepared like coming to class without pen or notebook, then this kind of sanction may fail to be effective since a reasoning pupils can easily realize that they committed a mistake and that they should not repeat the same.

How Long Can a Teacher Legally Keep You After School?

Teachers occasionally decide to have pupils kept after school hours or classes to complete coursework or some extra help with concepts and skills. In other cases, pupils stay in school as a way of detention. Legally, schools are permitted to make pupils stay after school basically for detention purposes, though they have to issue prior notice and use restrictions that are appropriate (Gordon et al. 2016). Despite the fact that teachers are permitted to detain pupils after school, they have to be reasonable concerning the requirements. If a teacher decides to detain a pupil after school hour, for example, then the pupil's parents have to be informed of the same, and the teacher needs not to demand that the detained pupils remain detained for hours (Nephew 2018). After-school detention should take a maximum of one hour. Some schools have specified their detention guidelines like providing 24-hours notice to the guardian or parents of the pupils (Nephew 2018). There are scenarios where parents may not accept to permit schools to have their children kept after school. In this case, the teacher has to come up with the best alternatives for detention. In other cases, parents may not refute detention but may ask for a change of dates if there happens to be a reasonable issue. Detention may be imposed by teachers with or without the parents' approval (Bennett and Kalish 2006). It is stated in the guideline that detention need not be imposed forcefully. But any failure to comply with the orders of the teacher might be termed as a further offensive act which may attract penalties imposed by the headteacher.

The Use of Systems of Rewards and Sanctions Within Behavior Policies

Using systems of rewards and sanctions with polices of behavior has formally been adopted in UK schools. A system of such kind is a potential representation of a theoretical idea when put under consideration with the existing learning and teaching approaches (Bennett and Kalish 2006). There exists an opportunity for inconsistent usage of sanctions and rewards that results from the lack of a distinction between punishments and incentives and pupils' social behavior and their task-based work.

Pupils who decide to be responsible and prove to be in a position of following the school's Code of Conduct need to have their efforts recognized and rewarded accordingly. It is always deemed that positive reinforcement of behavior that is good is more effective than punishment when it comes to enhancing a purposeful and cooperative atmosphere (Bennett and Kalish 2006). However, it is good to be careful not to praise only the same good pupils but also pays some attention to children who have been characterized by bad behaviors in the past so as to recognize and have their efforts rewarded for improving. Sanction and reward policies have a lot of significance. It is very appropriate via encouragement and praise to enhance polite manners and behaviors (Cambron-McCabe, McCarthy, and Eckes 2013). Besides, children need to inculcate some sense of responsibility and to account for their behaviors and actions. This is only possible if role adults lead by example as role models of the pupils.

What Are the Negative Impacts of Sanction in Schools?

When students have removed out classrooms regularly, it may convey meaning to them that such classes are not meant for them. They thus tend to develop negative attitudes against such classes (Milleret et al. 1998). This may make them feel that both school and learning are not meant for them. This may consequently have an impact on such students may register negative performances in their academics and consequently may drop out of school or end up getting a final grade that may not be of help to them in life.

Furthermore, extreme sanctions such as telling off students before their fellows may lead to an immense trauma to them as well as adverse effects on their health. This may have an impact of long-lasting psychological torture, which may consequently result in the lowering of self-esteem of such students (Milleret et al. 1998). For instance, it may be hurting for a student who already undergoes mental or physical abuse at home, as this may further lower their self-esteem.

Finally, when sanctions are imposed on students by means of suspension, then it may result in the student's disciplinary record being tinted. This may haunt the student in their entire academic lives as such records are affected and reflected in other schools that the students may like to transfer to. The effect of this may be long-term negative impacts on their academic lives since it may not be possible for them to redeem their reputations Milleret et al. 1998). This is thus the reason why sanctions should be avoided in the UK primary schools.

Sanctions have proved to be ineffective, especially for students with regular behavioral issues. For instance, a case study of a British primary school boy who frequently broke the school rules discovered that the student suffered a negative sanction in his primary school owing to the fact that the behavioral discipline methods were flawed (Woods 2008). This was because the three dimensions of the child's experience were neglected: a sense of justice, emotions, and his relationship with his peers. This made the boy have a negative experience with the sanction in the school.


Most primary school schools in the UK have adopted the use of sanction to help control the quire behavior of some pupils. Detention may be termed as a very vital kind of punishment to pupils who register misbehaviors of some sort. It can help in stopping pupils from continuing with misbehaving activities and provide them with the opportunity to perform a self-evaluation of their actions. While sanction may be associated with some benefits, it also comes with demerits. Extreme sanctions such as telling off students before their fellows may lead to an immense trauma to them as well as adverse effects on their health. This may have an impact of long-lasting psychological torture, which may consequently result in the lowering of self-esteem of such students.


Miller, A., Ferguson, E., and Simpson, R., 1998. The Perceived Effectiveness of Rewards and Sanctions in Primary Schools: adding in the parental perspective. Educational Psychology, [online] 18(1), pp.55-64. Available at: [Accessed 10 Nov. 2019].

Woods, R., 2008. When rewards and sanctions fail: a case study of a primary school rulebreaker. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, [online] 21(2), pp.181-196. Available at: [Accessed 10 Nov. 2019].

Gordon, R., Smyth, M., and Cornell, T., 2016. Sanctions law. 2nd ed. p.156.

Nephew, R., 2018. The art of sanctions. 1st ed. New York: Columbia University Press, p.355.

Bennett, S., and Kalish, N., 2006. The case against homework. New York: Three Rivers Press.

Cambron-McCabe, N., McCarthy, M., and Eckes, S. (2013). Constitutional rights of teachers and students. 1st ed. p.788.

Feldman, Y. 2018. The law of good people. 1st ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p.798.

Taylor, B., 2010. Sanctions as grand strategy. 1st ed. Abingdon (Oxon): Routledge, for the International Institute of Strategic Studies, p.678.

Cite this page

Sanctions in Schools: Negative Consequences for Students - Essay Sample. (2023, Mar 26). Retrieved from

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the ProEssays website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience and 25% off!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism