Weak school leaders failing to ensure good behaviour

Two thirds of teachers say that pupil misbehaviour is a major problem and are frustrated that headteachers are not doing enough to improve the situation.

Low-level persistent disruptive behaviour such as talking, swinging on chairs, play fighting, using mobile phones and quietly humming is costing pupils up to an hour a day of education, the BBC reports.

The new Ofsted report is based on inspection reports from 95 state schools and academies between January and July and a YouGov survey of parents and teachers.  It claims that many school leaders, especially in secondary schools, underestimate the impact of low-level disruptive behaviour and fail to identify or tackle it early enough.

The report acknowledges that many teachers have to accept some low-level disruption as a part of everyday classroom life. A fifth said they ignored it and just “tried to carry on”, but Ofsted warned that this kind of behaviour can drive them away from the profession.

Ofsted head Sir Michael Wilshaw believes that leadership is crucial to tackle the problem: “I see too many schools where head teachers are blurring the lines between friendliness and familiarity – and losing respect along the way,” he said. “After all, every hour spent with a disruptive, attention-seeking pupil is an hour away from ensuring other pupils are getting a decent education. We need to tackle the casual acceptance of this behaviour that persists in too many schools. Classroom teachers must have the support of their senior leaders to tackle these problems.”

Responding to the report, ASCL’s Brian Lightman said that parents need to take equal responsibility for making sure that children understand what appropriate behaviour is. Russell Hobby, NAHT’s general secretary, claimed that Ofsted was contradicting itself. “Reports from its routine inspections say behaviour is good or outstanding in 83% of all schools. That’s not yet perfect, but it shows massive improvement.”

Do you experience this type of disruptive behaviour in your classroom and if so, who is to blame? Do you receive support and guidance from your leaders to deal with these issues?

3 thoughts on “Weak school leaders failing to ensure good behaviour

  1. It is basic discipline that is missing in the classroom. The teachers are rushing to meet targets instead of concentrating on teaching subjects thoroughly. We need to make sure that students know how to behave and respect the teacher in the classroom and then learning/teaching will be much easier.

    I feel that we a disadvantaging those students who want to learn because we are spending too much time dealing with disruptive students. It’s time we gave our full attention to those who want to learn and found a way of disciplining those who insist on being disruptive… but we do need to parental support. Too many parents refuse to believe that their offspring don’t know how to behave and blame the teachers for things going wrong in the classroom.

    Discipline starts at home and is re-inforced in the classroom, but we all need to be working together and not against each other!

  2. Unfortunately within state schools Head-teachers have an impossible job with disruptive and socially inadequate pupils when expelling such time wasters is extremely difficult. The private schools rarely have such problems as they can expel, and rightly so, if certain students are affecting the teacher’s role and the pupils wanting to learn. Yes, discipline starts at home but some parents are clueless especially from dysfunctional families which makes the head teachers job even more difficult.
    As to classroom control techniques, they are fine for normal reasonably well behaved children but dealing with perpetual socially inadequate pupils they are a waste of time. Why should good competent hardworking teachers have to put up with children that are beyond control and wreck havoc in a classroom? We have the usual teachers of a progressive idealogical leaning who always make a case for such pupils under the inclusion mantra which has run its course for problem children; great in theory but the question, at what cost inclusion? is rarely ever brought up.

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