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Last Updated: 22 September 2022


Schools build character by instilling discipline. Find out how schools approach discipline.

Students learn well when there is order and discipline. They also need care, encouragement and space to learn from mistakes and improve. A judicious balance creates an environment conducive for our students to develop positively.

What is discipline?

Discipline is an educative process to guide students to develop self-management and good character. Disciplinary measures help them to learn the consequences of their inappropriate actions and poor choices, and take responsibility not to repeat their mistakes.

Discipline in schools

MOE provides schools with guidelines to formulate their discipline policies and school rules based on the student profile and needs. Disciplinary consequences such as detention, suspension and corrective community service are considered in combination or separately, depending on the circumstances of each case. Caning is a disciplinary option for boys only, and for serious offences as a last resort, when absolutely necessary.

Effective discipline

Effective discipline helps students learn values and social and emotional skills to problem-solve and cope with challenges. This is achieved when:

  • There is a safe, caring and supportive environment at school and at home.
  • Teachers teach values, provide opportunities for students to exercise and reinforce good behaviour, and guide them to manage their behaviour and restore affected relationships.
  • School counsellors address underlying social-emotional issues.
  • Peers provide positive influence and support.
  • Parents, the community and other stakeholders work with schools to help students learn and grow.

Learn more about how schools handle discipline through these articles: