I am going to talk about rules that we have in schools, discipline to enforce those rules. I’ll try to describe the differences, I see, between English schools and Spanish schools. I want you guys to tell me other differences that you can think about and also about the rules that you would like to change and one rule that you think is good.


As a preparation for the topic, we will do an exercise:

Which one fits the description?

Not to go to school, even though you don’t have permission to miss it

—to play truant

A penalty that is given to somebody who did something bad

—a punishment

A schoolboy or schoolgirl

—a pupil

Not serious or important


To go to a judge because somebody has done something that hurt or harmed you

—to take legal actions against somebody

A document that you sign when you agree to do something

—a contract


A penalty that is given to somebody who did something bad

—a punishment


Not to go to school, even though you don’t have permission to miss it

—to play truant


A schoolboy or schoolgirl —a pupil


Not serious or important



To go to a judge because somebody has done something that hurt or harmed you

—to take legal actions against somebody


UK schools are allowed to discipline pupils who behave badly in various ways. But what exactly is bad behaviour? The following is a list of serious and not-so-serious types of bad behaviour seen by a teacher in a London Secondary school.

These are some rules that we have in English schools:

1.Playing truant means missing classes. If you are under the age of sixteen you are not supposed to do that. But if you are over sixteen, they cannot force you to go to lessons. If you are under sixteen you are required to stay.


When you are sixteen you can choose whether you go to classrooms or not. But when you are under sixteen you have to go to school.

2.Smoking, swearing, hitting, kissing, running, stealing

They are pretty standard rules. Smoking is pretty much illegal anywhere in UK. Smoking inside is illegal in UK. Does anybody know what legal age to smoke is in the UK? Does anybody know how old you have to be to smoke in the UK?


Seventeen, a little big younger.



You are allowed to smoke tobacco in the UK but you are not allowed to buy it until you are eighteen.

You mustn’t swear words: no decir tacos

Hitting or fighting is not allowed.

Kissing is a bit disgusting in front of the teachers. Teenagers running around all the time doing that.

Running is chaotic.

You mustn’t steal other’s people’s stuff.

3.Not doing homework

Technically not doing homework can make you get in trouble.


If you don’t do the homework teachers can’t do a lot. Because at the end of the day  if you don’t do the homework, they can’t force you to do your homework. But in my school teachers put me in detention if you miss your homework. I used to get in detention because, honestly, I forgot to hand in homework and they make you stay after school for half an hour to do it.

4.Cheating in exams (copying from secret notes or another pupil) is an example that is not allowed to do.


Sitting on a chair putting up your legs, leaning back

5.Calling a teacher or another pupil bad names (bullying). Bullying is a bit more serious.

6.Not listening or not paying attention in lessons. This is one of the main differences between England and Spain.


If you don’t listen, teachers will be luckier to discipline you. If my teachers are talking or you are talking, you are inside. If you are quiet, they are not even in detention. Here, there are some teachers that say if the students are in the back, let’s leave them like that. That’s one difference.

7.Wearing unsuitable clothes for school

Most schools have uniforms. If you are not wearing the uniform, that is considered breaking the rules.


You’re supposed to wear a uniform. You’re supposed to wear a shirt. You’re supposed to wear a tie longer than their shorts. I’m really sure the girls have to have the skirts too far from their knees. It’s supposed to be 3 inches maximum above theknee. Girls are not allowed to use make-up either, again, in theory. The fact that they have to enforce the rules, it’s a different story. Because a lot of the teachers don’t care about the uniform. They don’t think it’s important the students come to school  every day looking fine as soon as they are here and they study.


Punishments in UK schools

It’s a list from the most severe to the least severe.

1 Exclusion: a pupil is excluded from the school and cannot come back. The pupil has to find a new school or a different method of education (home tutor, special centre for difficult pupils).

When the student is outside has done pretty bad actions. There were a few students that were expelled from my school. But a good friend of mine, I used to play rugby with him, he got suspended a lot.


You miss the school buses.

4.Lines: a pupil has to write a sentence many times (100 times) on a sheet of paper. An example sentence: I must not shout in class. This punishment is sometimes given during detention too.

I’ve never seen lines actually used in my school in my life. A place that my school had as well was isolation, somewhere between suspension and detention.


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