Last updated:
28 November 2017

School detentions

View guidance and information a school follows when a child is given a detention.

Schools don’t have to give parents notice of after-school detentions.

For lunchtime detentions staff should allow reasonable time for the pupil to eat, drink and use the toilet.

A child's safety will be considered when issuing a detention outside of school hours. To make sure that a detention outside school hours is reasonable, staff will consider whether:

  • the detention is likely to put the pupil at risk
  • the pupil has known caring responsibilities which mean that the detention is unreasonable
  • 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 
  • suitable travel arrangements can be made by the parent - these arrangements being inconvenient for the parent is not a consideration.

Complaints about a detention

Teachers may decide the child should have a detention despite the parent's representations. A parent who remains dissatisfied can complain to the headteacher and the governing body under the school's normal complaints procedures (although there will usually not be time to consider the complaint until after the detention has taken place). 

A parent concerned about either the principle of detention, or how it is used, can raise these concerns with the headteacher, governing body or both. If a parent complains to the headteacher and is not satisfied with the response, they can then take the complaint to the governing body.

The governing body's decision is final and there is no right of appeal.

 

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