Legal action has been taken on behalf of a boy who spent 60 days – a third of a school year – in a isolation booth as a punishment.
Lawyers have applied for a judicial review of Outwood Grange Academies Trust’s behaviour policy which includes sending children to “consequence rooms” for up to six hours a day. The trust, which runs 30 schools, expects children to sit in total silence. They can do work but they don’t have to.
“When in the rooms, children were not allowed to “tap, chew, swing on their chairs, shout out, sigh, or any other unacceptable or disruptive behaviour. Students cannot sleep or put their heads on the desk. They must sit up and face forward,” the behaviour policy said. “Communication of any kind with any other student is not allowed … You will be escorted to get your lunch, but you must stay silent.”
“Lawyers are seeking to challenge the legality of the use of the punishment for extended periods of time, the lack of teaching while children are in the rooms and the lack of oversight of the policy. Unlike with fixed-term exclusions, there is no limit on the number of days a child can spend in an isolation booth.”