This account by a teacher in an inner London school is serious, important and ultimately moving. Those who read some of the angrier teacher blogs will not be surprised by any of it. A school like this needs support and the teachers in it need encouragement and respect. Condemning a school with problems like these, without offering solutions, simply leads to a culture where schools hide their weaknesses and pretend everything is alright.
We need serious, well funded alternatives to short and long term exclusion: heavy duty pupil referral units where student behaviour can be confronted. If they worked, the cost would surely be less than future prison sentences for many of these young people. When the only sanction we have left for violent pupils is to ask them to go home and watch TV for a few days, we have effectively given up on both the possibility of change for those students, and the establishment of a safe environment in our schools.
(Government figures reported here)