IT’S very reassuring to read many comments supporting the need to challenge pupils over anti-social behaviour and praising the new head at Colne Valley High School.

One correspondent, though, mentioned that he thought many teachers turned a blind eye to pupil misbehaviour in order to avoid confrontation. Perhaps this is because many work in schools where they cannot guarantee support from their own bosses if such a confrontation results.

Some heads are known to give several “last, final, ultimate” warnings but are never prepared to back these threats up with action. So the youngsters put up with yet another telling-off and then walk away laughing at the fact that they’ve got away with something – again.

Many youngsters today – and their parents – are aware of their “rights” and know that schools are desperate to avoid bad publicity and so will be scared to stand up to them.

Pupils and parents are aware they can make all manner of allegations against teachers in order to cover their own backs and that many heads, and indeed the local authority, will back down rather than risk things “blowing up”.

This attitude gives the green light for pupils to carry on pushing the boundaries and often succeeding.