Detention at school

Parental consent is not required for detentions. There is no longer a requirement to give parents 24 hours’ notice of a detention. Teachers have a legal power to put pupils aged under 18 in detention, this includes detention outside of school hours.

For lunchtime detentions staff should allow reasonable time for the pupil to eat, drink and use the toilet.

Detentions outside school hours

A child’s safety will be considered when issuing a detention outside of school hours. To make sure that a detention outside school hours is reasonable, staff giving the detention will consider whether:

  • the parents ought to be informed of the detention. In many cases it will be necessary to do so, but this will depend on the circumstances. For instance, notice may not be necessary for a short after school detention where the pupil can get home safely
  • parents can reasonably arrange for their child to get home after the detention
  • the detention is likely to put the pupil at risk
  • the pupil has known caring responsibilities which mean that the detention is unreasonable.

The times outside normal school hours when detention can be given include:

  • any school day where the pupil does not have permission to be absent
  • weekends – except those just before or after the half term break
  • non-teaching days, usually known as ‘training days’, ‘INSET days’ or ‘non-contact days’.

More information