Published: 00:01, 04 March 2017
There has been mixed reaction to a new “passport” system at one of Kent's largest schools.
Since last Monday, all pupils at Oasis Academy on the Isle of Sheppey have to carry a mini booklet, noting achievements and punishments, at all times.
Principal John Cavadino said the “3 Ps Passport” – which stands for prepared, polite and productive – was a record of good effort, attitude and work.
But some parents are unhappy, claiming their children have been punished for offences including hiccuping in class.
Mr Cavadino added: “The academy has had overwhelmingly positive feedback on the new system from students, staff and parents. Our parents especially appreciate the opportunity to see their child’s successes and area for improvement on a daily basis.
“With regards to sanctions, students are only placed in detention if they accumulate three behaviour points. Students are aware of how the new system operates and our parents have received a letter explaining the changes.”
Mr Cavadino went on to say that, as with the introduction of any new policy, there is a short period while pupils become familiar with the changes.
However, he added, the academy was confident that the new system was a positive change that would help individuals make greater progress.
Ryan Smart, 12, said the passport was well organised. He said: “It allows me to see at a glance how well I’ve done and motivates me to continue working my best.”
Kyle Whibley, also 12, added: “It allows me to show my mum my achievements and she treats me for doing well!”
However, not all parents agree with the new system, including 39-year-old Gavin Shearing.
Mr Shearing, whose daughter Morgana is in Year 9, said: “I don’t think the passport is a good idea at all because there doesn’t seem to be a clear definition of what is classed as naughty.
“The rules are ridiculous. My daughter was given two behavioural points for wearing her coat inside the building, which I don’t agree with.
“How is that naughty?
“The morale of each child I have spoken to is just so low now. My child was a grade A student when she left primary school and now she doesn’t give two hoots about school.
“I appreciate children change as they get older, but at the minute they don’t seem to be getting any guidance or have a proper procedure to follow.”
There was anger among a group of parents who were calling for clearer rules for passport-related punishments.
Georgina Clayton said she thought the passport was a great idea if the behavioural points were well deserved.
“A hell of a lot of parents are dissatisfied. Something needs to change" - Georgina Clayton
She said: “My daughter Summer got a behavioural point because she hiccupped in class. This was put down as disruptive behaviour. Really?
“I totally understand there needs to be rules, but they are taking it to the extreme and it’s not allowing children to learn if they end up sitting in reflection for hours for these type of ‘issues’.
“A hell of a lot of parents are dissatisfied. Something needs to change.”
Other parents have taken to social media to express their concerns over the “pointless” behavioural points and are calling on the school to set clearer guidelines.
Any parents or carers with questions regarding this or any other issues are asked to contact the academy directly.