A Birmingham school has found a novel way to motivate pupils to stay disciplined - by giving well-behaved pupils a range of executive perks, including access to a computer-games room and the right to wear a special uniform.
Selly Oak School has benefited 180 students with a platinum award card, which gives them access to a games lounge, where they can play Nintendo Wii, Xbox and other console games.
AdvertisementThe rest of the 410 students can see from outside what they are missing.
An elite cadre of 20 exceptionally good students are excused from wearing the school's regular uniform and are allowed instead to wear a distinctive maroon and gold one.
Graham Ridley, the principal of the school, said that he had got the idea for the special jumpers from the yellow jersey awarded to the leading cyclist in each leg of the Tour de France.
Ridley said that the idea is neither elitist nor divisive, insisting that it provides students with a powerful motivation to toe the line.
Previously, about a third of his pupils have shown behavioural problems or mild learning difficulties. Many of the remainder are what the principal calls tough, streetwise kids.
"We're like a hospital, we cure them. We take confrontation out of the classroom through motivation," Times Online quoted Ridley, as saying.
Many schools have a system of house points for good behaviour, but Ridley's idea is altogether more ambitious.
"We thought we would have rewards that were more relevant to the children's lives than house points," he said.
Before introducing the perks scheme, teachers were spending 90 per cent of their non-teaching time dealing with problem behaviour.
"Now we have more than halved the time devoted to discipline," he said.
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