In the light of recent disciplinary reform in U.S. and U.K. schools academic attention has increasingly focused on school punishment. Drawing on interviews with school staff in alternative and mainstream schools in the U.S. and the U.K., we highlight differences in understandings and practices of school discipline. We argue that, in both countries, there is a mismatch between mainstream schools and alternative schools regarding approaches to punishment, techniques employed to manage student behaviour, and supports given to students. We raise questions about the impact of these mismatches on children’s experiences and the potential for school disciplinary reform to achieve lasting results.
- school punishment, school discipline, exclusion, restorative practice, alternative education