One in four teachers say discipline in schools not good enough
A survey commissioned by the Department of Education has shown that one in four teachers believed that the standards of discipline in their schools was not good enough and sixty per cent felt that the negative behaviour of pupils was a contributing cause to teachers leaving the profession.
Government survey highlights discipline issues
1,700 teachers in English state schools were questioned as part of the government backed survey to investigate discipline standards in schools. Findings from the research at secondary schools showed:
- 51 per cent of teachers never sent pupils to the head masters office for discipline.
- 28 per cent never shout at children who are misbehaving
- 13 per cent do not issue detentions.
At a primary level, the survey indicated that:
- 95 per cent of teachers never issued detentions
- 42 per cent would not raise their voice in the classroom
- 17 per cent refused to send children to the headmaster.
The recently published survey comes just weeks after figures from Ofsted highlighted that behaviour was not good enough in one in five English state schools.
Minister for Schools raises concern
Speaking in response to the survey, Minister for Schools, Nick Gibb offered insight to the impact on teachers that unruly pupil behaviour can have; "The survey also reveals some concerns about negative behavior, which is driving some teachers out of the profession.” The Minister went on to offer his reassurances that the government is doing everything they can to improve classroom working conditions; “The Government is committed to maintaining our relentless focus on raising standards of behavior in schools until every school is a safe and happy place in which pupils can excel academically."
Behavior expert offers classroom analysis
The Government’s expert adviser, Charlie Taylor, commented that many teachers were more “in control of the classroom.” In the modern classroom, the most common methods of discipline being used include systems of rewards and praise to promote good behavior instead of punishing pupils that repeatedly behave poorly. The majority of teachers were also able to give regular feedback to parents about their child’s behavior and implemented seating plans to split up the worst offenders.
Mr. Taylor further went on to say that there is still more that needs to be done to maintain high standards, yet; “Without good behavior teachers can’t teach and pupils can’t learn, we need to ensure trainee teachers are equipped with the right training in behavior management.”
Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) responded: “The NUT concurs that a greater focus on behaviour is needed in teacher training, as the recent review has found. Teachers need to be able to ask for support about challenging pupil behaviour at any stage of their career. Teachers need access to continuing professional development throughout their careers.”
Ms Blower added:“Teachers also need time during the school day to seek support from colleagues in the staffroom, and discuss the requirements of individual pupils. Schools that tackle challenging behaviour most effectively are those with a collaborative ethos where teachers are supported by senior leaders and students are supported too. It is vital that experienced teachers have time to support those new to the job. Every teacher will face challenging behaviour at some point in their career.”
Results from Teacher Support Network Survey
A poll conducted by Teacher Support has highlighted the impact that pupil behaviour can have on teacher welfare. The 2010 Behavior Survey from Teacher Support Network, Family Lives (formerly Parentline Plus) and the National Union of Teachers, revealed that 81 per cent of respondents had experienced stress, anxiety or depression as a result of bad behaviour, while 79 per cent of teachers said that they felt unable to teach as effectively due to poor behaviour.
Speaking at the time, in response to the poll, Chief Executive of Teacher Support Network, Julian Stanley said; “We are not saying that behaviour is an issue in every classroom, in every school, but we are concerned that poor behaviour is leading some great teachers to leave the profession. Parents and teachers need to work together to create safe, respectful school communities, where teachers, and by extension their children, can reach their full potential.”
New measures have been introduced by Ministers that will allow teachers to deal with unruly pupils, including; searching students and scrapping the 24-hour notice period for detentions.