NEW behaviour expectations introduced by a school in Thornbury, which includes punishments that have been described as “six-hour detentions”, have divided opinion.​

The Castle School have said that the Ready To Learn (RTL) system, which is being introduced in June, will focus on “ensuring every child has the right to learn without lessons being disrupted” and outlines expectations of learning behaviour.

RTL was introduced a couple of weeks ago at Marlwood, and has been in use for some time at other members of the Castle School Education Trust (CSET), like Mangotsfield School, which predominantly positive feedback from parents.

The lengthy punishment, which sees disruptive child receive one clear warning before being sent to an “RTL room” for five full lessons, as well as an hour after school, is only the second stage of the process.

Children who refuse to abide by the process could face exclusion from the school.

Some have praised the decision since it was formally announced in an email to parents and on social media this week, saying that its success at other schools shows its effectiveness.

Others, meanwhile, have labelled the punishment as “six hour detentions” that are too severe, adding that it might cause some to struggle.

In a statement issued to parents and on social media, deputy head teacher Lisa Howell thanked them for their support introducing the system.

She said it would aim to “eliminate disruptive behaviour, ensure that students understand acceptable behaviour and encourage students to take responsibility for their actions.

“This will enable teaching staff to continue to deliver engaging, creative and enjoyable lessons.”

The school has said it will use the change in order to “revisit expectations, rules and sanctions” with particular focus on punctuality, school uniform and the use of mobile phones.

Among the new rules, no jumpers, hoodies or zipped sports jackets are acceptable, with anything besides a school sweatshirt, raincoat or anorak to be confiscated – along with any mobile phone or headphones that are used during, or in between lessons.

Information on RTL can be found here.

Two informal sessions, for parents wishing to know more about RTL, have been arranged for Monday, May 22, at 2pm and 6.30pm.

Anyone wishing to attend either session is asked to contact Joy Irwin by calling 01454 862129 or emailing

What are your thoughts on the newly introduced rules at the Castle School? Let us know by emailing