Students to see red in zero tolerance regime at Thomas Clarkson Academy, Wisbech

Thomas Clarkson Academy, Wisbech.

Thomas Clarkson Academy, Wisbech. - Credit: Archant

Thomas Clarkson Academy, Wisbech, has tackled Ofsted’s ­criticism of its discipline record head-on with the introduction of a zero tolerance regime.

GCSE results at Thomas Clarkson Academy. Principal Clare Claxton.

GCSE results at Thomas Clarkson Academy. Principal Clare Claxton. - Credit: Archant

Principal Clare Claxton said: “Ofsted told us behaviour has got to get from OK to good and that’s why we introduced zero tolerance.”

Students now risk after-school detentions – and whole days in isolation with escorted trips to the toilet – for breaches of the new regime.

More than 100 yellow cards a day have become the norm, issued to students to provide what the principal says is a “consistent, formal warning for disrupting a lesson”.

But the threat of ‘red’ cards is where the real challenge lies, concedes Ms Claxton.


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With the ‘red’ card comes an ­automatic after school detention, lengthened from 45 minutes to an hour for students who refuse it.

Skip that, says Ms Claxton, and the 8.40am-3.50pm day in isolation begins – but not, she hastens to add, in darkened out rooms and with bread and water lunches as portrayed in recent social media attacks.

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On a visit to the academy this week, Ms Claxton explained how zero tolerance is working.

• To find out more about the zero tolerance regime, see today’s Wisbech Standard.

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