Schools are correct to insist upon zero tolerance policies, Adam Caller expressed in a statement this week, but there are better environments in which to nurture students with behavioural and mental health issues.
Following a major new study by University of Exeter, reported in August 2017 , finding that excluding children from school can be linked to long-term psychological problems and distress, independent education consultant and Tutors International founder, Adam Caller, defended the policies of some of the UK’s top institutions, and offered an alternative for students labelled as troublemakers.
Mr Caller commented: “The very best schools have always been the ones adopting a rigidly hierarchical and consistent approach to discipline. It’s part of what transforms a ‘good’ school into an outstanding one, and their students inherently know which lines cannot be crossed. However, not all children – through no fault of their own – are able to thrive in such a rigid academic environment, and this is where behavioural issues start to manifest. This could be due to mental health problems, SEN, lack of adequate pastoral care, bullying by teachers and peers, or just not fitting in with the way schools are designed.”
Echoing the sentiments of Sir Ken Robinson  regarding the failings of Victorian-style ‘factory schools’, Mr Caller, whose own career in education spans over 25 years, argued that not all children fit into the same mould when it comes to the academic and learning environment. While some children excel under a strict routine, others will, inevitably, find their curiosity and creativity stifled, and resort to other, less healthy, ways to channel their energies and make themselves heard. He also warned that schools may not always warn parents of problems brewing until it is too late:
“If your child is showing signs of antisocial behaviour or getting themselves into trouble at school, be aware that there are other options and environments that could suit your child better. Schools themselves will often tolerate a lot of disobedience before alerting parents, preferring internal discipline, so be aware that a problem may be more advanced than you think.”
Mr Caller was quick to offer a practical and effective solution for struggling students, who have been affected by bad experiences within a traditional classroom environment:
“Tutors International has worked with many families dealing with the behavioural and psychological problems highlighted by this new research, and we have seen children who have previously struggled in a traditional classroom setting transformed by time spent one-to-one with an exceptional private tutor, expertly matched to meet their needs. These tutors match and often exceed the same standards as those offered by prestigious private schools, while also being able to tailor curriculum and learning activities to suit the individual strengths, interests and talents of their student, whilst also rebuilding their confidence. We’ve been delighted to watch ‘problem-children’ go on to achieve great things.”
To find out more about Tutors International, the services it provides, and its commitment to finding the perfect tutoring match for each individual client, visit www.tutors-international.com.
 School exclusion ‘linked to long-term mental health problems. https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/aug/19/school-exclusion-linked-to-long-term-mental-health-problems Jamie Doward. 19 August 2017. The Guardian.
 Changing Education Paradigms https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_changing_education_paradigms Sir Ken Robinson. TED Talks.