House Arrest for Excluded Pupils
UK children who are excluded temporarily from school for bad behaviour are effectively put under house arrest for the first 5 days of exclusion under recently brought in legislation.
Since September of this year children placed on fixed term exclusions are required by law to remain in their house during the hours of school. Any that are discovered in public places can be picked up by the police and their parents fined. Although welcomed by some who see this as a positive response to anti-social and other criminal behaviour attributed to excluded youngsters some groups are questioning its legality under the UN charter for human rights and in particular UN childrens' rights that the UK government have signed up to.
The new law applies equally to those children that have committed minor misdemeanours such as swearing, smoking, or not wearing correct uniform and those that actually commit more serious crimes such as assault, carrying weapons or theft.
Figures show that exclusions from school of black and dual heritage pupils and in particular boys is proportionatly greater than that of other groups and as such the new legistlation is putting children from these groups under house arrest and disrupting the lives of families from these backgrounds to a greater extent than others. Parents who work and who in the past have supported school and their children through exclusion periods by keeping them with them during the day - including sometimes taking them to work with them now find that to do so is in contravention of the new law. They are not even allowed to take their children out on educational visits to museums, art galleries or libraries which are all public places and so means that any parent trying to support their child's education in this way whilst excluded from school breaks the law.
So far there have been no arrests or prosecutions under the new legistlation.