This is the statement that can be found on the Gov.UK website summarising the current legal position on detentions for schools in England:
“Detention: Schools don’t have to give parents notice of after-school detentions or tell them why a detention has been given.”
In their more detailed guidance, the Department for Education states that detentions can be given on the same day at break, lunch or after school for up to 60 minutes with no advance warning to parents.
Heworth Grange has always followed the guidance from the DfE about detentions, but we also appreciate that some parents may be concerned if their child is late home from school. Therefore In previous years, whilst we have always had the right to set same day detentions, we have always sent a text home in advance to parents and issued a written slip to a pupil. This year the position is essentially the same except that we have formalised the system and now use a new computer software package called ‘Class Charts’ to set detentions. The formal system is as follows
1. Teachers may set a ‘same day’ detention at break, lunch or after school for up to a maximum of 30 minutes.
2. Parents will still be informed by text about the detention.
3. Same day detentions will be set up until 1.10pm and texts informing parents will be sent as soon as possible after that time but may be delayed at busy times.
4. After 1.10pm, any after school detentions will be set for the next day.
5. A detention slip is no longer automatically issued to a pupil, it is recorded on the Class Charts system
6. Detentions can vary from 15, 30, 45 and in the most severe cases up to 60 minutes
7. 45 and 60 minute detentions will always be set with advance warning to parents i.e. they are not ‘same day’
8. Classroom teachers can set 15 or 30 minute detentions. Heads of Year and Heads of Department can set 45 minute detentions and the Senior Leadership Team can set 60 minute detentions
9. If detentions are deliberately missed or avoided, the detention is automatically moved to the next level e.g.. 15 to 30 minutes. Parents will be informed by text if this has happened.
10. Detentions will only be re-scheduled in exceptional circumstances and that is at the discretion of the school.
All pupils have been informed about the new detention system which fits into our new C1 to C4 sanctions system. Although the legal position on detentions is unchanged, all parents are being informed about our new behaviour system by letter, which will be arriving imminently.