Tuesday 5 October 2010 8:21 pm

Head teachers gain power to discipline outside school

HEAD TEACHERS are to be given sweeping new powers to discipline pupils who misbehave outside of school gates, as part of new plans to crack down on anti-social behaviour. Currently, heads have no authority over pupils when they are off of school premises, making it difficult to punish them when they misbehave in the local community. But schools secretary Michael Gove yesterday said he was rewriting the guidance that governs head teachers’ powers, allowing them to discipline pupils “any place, any time, anywhere. Low-level anti-social behaviour will now be the responsibility of school principals. “At the moment heads are prevented from dealing with their pupils if they run wild in a shopping mall or behave anti-socially in town centres,” Gove told delegates at the Tory party conference in Birmingham. “So we will change the rules to send one clear – and consistent – message. Heads will have the freedom they need to keep pupils in line.” Gove also outlined plans to put British history back at the centre of the school curriculum, and announced the appointment of historian Simon Schama to lead a review into the subject. He said: “The current approach we have to history denies children the opportunity to hear our island history. Our history has moments of pride, and shame…. But the trashing of our past has to stop.”