OTLEY’S MP is calling for a ban on the use of isolation booths in schools.

The booths, usually cubicles in which children are made to look straight ahead and stay silent, are used by some schools to manage or punish disruptive behaviour.

But critics claim that the practise - which includes the child having to eat lunch in the booth - is in breach of the UN charter on the rights of the child and is heavy-handed and unnecessary.

MP Alex Sobel (Lab, Leeds North West) said: “I’ve had contact from parents in Otley and the surrounding area whose children have been sent to isolation booths for minor infractions.

“The punishment is often used for children with special educational needs in lieu of proper behavioural support. There is no doubt in my mind that the use of isolation booths has been fuelled by a decade of cuts to education funding and a reduction in support staff and other resources.

“It is being used as a low-cost solution to managing pupils, many of whom have additional needs.”

A recent Freedom of Information request by the BBC found that hundreds or schools in England were using booths, with pupils in some cases facing up to a week in isolation.