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Schools generally employ a hierarchy of punishments for infractions of rules. While there are variations between types of school, boarding and day schools, with not all being applied in all cases, the hierarchy is generally reasonably consistent.


Main article: Lines (punishment)

Lines is the practice of requiring a student to write a stated amount. Originally this would have been to write an appropriate phrase a certain number of times (e.g. five hundred lines of "I must not kick footballs at school windows"), or an essay of a stated length (usually about five paragraphs in length, which is actually much shorter than the original version of line punishment) on a stated subject is these days also common.


Main article: Detention (academia)

Detention is the practice of requiring a student to attend class at a time when they would not normally be required to. These may be during the school day (i.e. during break, or commonly, lunch), after the school day, or on a non-school day (normally Saturday), in order of severity. Duration can be from a few minutes to an hour or more.

Corporal punishment

Main article: Corporal punishment

In decline in the West (and illegal in many countries) but still practiced in some places. Students may be beaten with the hand or an implement (favourites being a ruler across an open hand, a cane across the hand, a slipper or a cane across the buttocks). Sometimes conducted in private, sometimes in public (e.g. at assemblies) to deter other students.


Main article: Report (punishment)

Students who are falling behind academically due to lack of diligence could be subjected to enhanced reporting, where performance is closely monitored and reported (often weekly) to parents and/or tutors.


Main article: Suspension (school punishment)

Suspension is the procedure of temporarily withdrawing a student from normal classes. Historically, this would have meant sending them home, but in-school suspension is now also practiced, where the student is separated from their cohort but still taught within the school.


Main article: Expulsion (academia)

Exclusion or expulsion is the removal of a student permanently from the school. This is generally a last resort. Some education authorities have a nominated school in which all excluded students are collected; this typically has a much higher staffing level than mainstream schools.

Other sanctions

Other lesser sanctions may also apply, including loss of privileges, additional homework, chores, being positioned at the front of the class and standing in the corner. Old-fashioned punishments like being forced to wear a dunce cap are now much less common.

fr:Punition scolaire
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