‘Let schools suspend pupils’: Björklund

'Let schools suspend pupils': Björklund
Sweden's government is preparing a new law that will enable schools to suspend pupils for up to a week, Education Minister Jan Björklund has revealed.

Björklund said he was disappointed with the results of a law enacted immediately after the Alliance government came into power in 2006, a law which enable teachers to confiscate items that distract other pupils. The legislation also made it possible to move troublesome pupils to different schools.

“The current rules are partly too unclear and partly too tame,” the minister told Svenska Dagbladet.

The government has agreed that all schools should be able to issue pupils with a written warning, a measure that is currently only available to upper secondary schools (gymnasieskolor).

Principals will also be permitted to suspend particularly difficult pupils for a week, with a limit of two week-long suspensions per calendar year.

The government is also proposing a new form of detention, which will allow schools to require pupils to serve their punishment for an hour before school rather than after.

The head of the National Union of Teachers in Sweden (Lärarnas riksförbund), Mette Fjelkner said the law would enable teachers to take necessary action in difficult cases. But she added that the law should not be applied to children in the younger age groups.

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