Unruly pupils targeted on buses

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The Independent Online

Teachers will also have the right to confiscate mobile phones if they are distracting children from learning, Ms Smith told a London conference organised by the Association of School and College Leaders yesterday.

Ms Smith said: "A culture of disrespect and failure to take responsibility will not be tolerated. Even low-level disruption has a detrimental effect on everyone."

She told the conference that children must behave not just behind their desks but in the street and on buses and trains. The discipline proposals will attack the "can't tell me, Miss" culture and place existing powers, which are "based on a confusing combination of common law and statute", on a firmer footing.

"If a parent asks, 'What gives you the right to punish my child?', a head should be able to point to a piece of law and say, 'This does'. When the Bill becomes law you will be able to do just that," Ms Smith said.

Parents could be fined £50 if they fail to take responsibility for their children if they are excluded from school.