More popular than “Ban The Booths”

June 8, 2019

For the last six months, educational progressives have shifted their attention to preventing schools from keeping kids safe. Their two key demands have been to prevent students being excluded from school, and to prevent internal exclusion (i.e. where students are kept in school but out of their regular lessons).

The latter of these campaigns has used the phrase “Ban the Booths” referring to those schools whose internal exclusion facilities have barriers between desks. Led by the behaviour consultant Paul Dix, whose advice is very controversial among teachers and has led to some dire results they have achieved remarkable levels of, often uncritical, publicity for this campaign.

It’s been backed at union conferences:

It has been supported by MPs:


It was publicised by the BBC

It has been in the Independent, The Guardian and the TES.

And now, finally, their attempt to collect 10 000 signatures to force a debate on the issue in parliament has come to an end. And how popular was this high profile, widely publicised, progressive cause?

Strangely enough, the number of people that think kids should be either kept in class (regardless of their dangerous behaviour) or sent home (regardless of their safeguarding situation) is actually tiny. Common sense has overcome the gullibility of journalists and MPs who either assume that “behaviour consultants” are experts or have an ideological belief that schools cannot be trusted with the power to keep their kids safe.

Here are some parliamentary petitions that received more signatures:




  1. Intriguing to see that the NEU support staff are being photographed. Why not teachers?

  2. I am definitely against unisex toilets in schools. I also think anyone who runs over a cat should have to stop and help – make it the same as running over a dog. Not too sure about handfasting.
    OK, nuff said there! Main point:
    It seems to me that putting children in what are essentially ‘carrells’ is perfectly reasonable. It enables distractions to be removed – which is there purpose. Certainly better than having a child climbing the walls in the classroom, as happened in a local school. Child (11years old) later seen playing chicken with some friends on a very busy dual carriageway – surely learning that his behaviour was wrong would have been better than allowing him to go on thinking he could do as he liked – thereby endangering his and others’ lives?

  3. Yet in my experience, the teachers and leaders who demand zero exclusions universally exclude themselves from having to deal with students who are difficult. That or they declare all is well regardless of how bad things get.

  4. My attention was drawn to statement by the “Ban the Booths” movement that it was a violation of the UN Charter on the Rights of the Child – that seems to be a major concern.
    So I read their website (https://banthebooths.co.uk/) and there I found their justification:

    We believe they are a breach of the UN charter on the rights of the child, disproportionate and unnecessary.

    Their evidence for this statement is all but absent, but state that “booths are not used in custodial settings”, which I presume is a reference to imprisonment. The logical failing here is obvious; Gaols have no need of booths because they have cells. However, this is presented with either a profound lack of insight or is intentionally manipulative and duplicitous; there is no way this argument is presented in good faith.

  5. Reblogged this on The Echo Chamber.

  6. […] More popular than “Ban The Booths” […]

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