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A strategy for behaviour management used by schools, which takes the form of keeping pupils ‘detained’ under the supervision of a teacher in a classroom at break, lunchtime, or after school. Its purpose is to impress upon pupils the negative consequences of unacceptable behaviour, in this case the forfeiting of their free time. If pupils are to be detained after school, the school is obliged to give parents or carers a day's notice of the fact. In the past, pupils were often required to undertake some punitive activity during their detention, such as the writing of ‘lines’, a sanction famously satirized and subverted in the opening sequence of the cartoon series The Simpsons. These days it is more usual for schools to use detention time constructively; for example, by taking the opportunity to provide pupils with support for completing coursework. Detention is one of the few sanctions, short of exclusion, open to schools for the management of pupil behaviour.

Subjects: Education.

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