The new behavioral guidelines have been issued to parents as many schools prepare to welcome children back into their classrooms in England this week.
It comes as the Department for Education (DfE) said teachers could see an increase in bad behavior due to pupils’ lack of regular attendance and “classroom discipline” during the pandemic.
In Hastings, East Sussex, the Ark Alexandra Academy has set out a list of “coronavirus red lines,” which will result in fixed-term exclusions for pupils should they be breached.
These include “deliberate or malicious” coughs or sneezes, “humorous, inappropriate comments or statements” related to Covid-19, and “purposeful physical contact with any other person.”
In a letter to parents in August, Jerome Scafe, network associate principal, said: “Any student that needs to have a fixed-term exclusion during the pandemic will not return to the main circulation until a risk assessment, and we can be assured that the student will adhere to all our expectations.”
Meanwhile, Ark Byron Primary Academy in Acton, west London, said in its letter to parents that if a pupil refuses to follow hygiene routines and social distancing instructions, they will “immediately be moved to a separate area.”
It said: “Some behaviors (e.g., coughing deliberately on another person) that were previously ‘simply’ anti-social, are now potentially severe.”
The DfE said schools should clearly state the consequences for bad behavior, particularly around new movement restrictions and hygiene rules.
In its updated guidance for schools, the DfE said on Friday: “It is likely that adverse experiences or lack of routines of regular attendance and classroom discipline may contribute to disengagement with education upon return to school, resulting in an increased incidence of poor behavior.”