‘No excuses’ dealt a devastating blow?

Filling the pail

On this blog, I have repeatedly expressed unease at the terms ‘no-excuses’ and ‘zero-tolerance’ when applied to schools. I have never visited a school that describes itself in this way, but I doubt whether the phrase is completely accurate. I am also uneasy about much of the criticism these schools attract because it seems to be a complaint against any kind of strong behaviour policy at all. And I am in favour of strong behaviour policies.

I was therefore interested to read a new critique, based on research funded by the Australian government. The article cautions us against adopting what the author, Dr. Linda Graham, sees as a British model of ‘no excuses’ schools. Graham draws on statements made by Jonathan Porter, a UK ‘no excuses’ advocate. Porter’s statements suggest that such policies enable all teachers to teach, not just the particularly charismatic or experienced ones.

I share Porter’s…

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