Poor parenting aiding bad behaviour
Poor parenting could be fuelling bad behaviour in schools, with a third of teachers dealing with physical violence recently, a survey suggests.
Behaviour has worsened in the last five years, with pupils kicking, punching, pushing and shoving school staff, according to a poll by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL).
ATL general secretary Dr Mary Bousted said there is a minority of children who have a "total disregard of school rules". These youngsters are just as likely to be "over-indulged" middle-class children as those from poorer homes, she said.
ATL's annual behaviour survey found that a third (33.1%) of those questioned said they have had to deal with a violent pupil in this academic year. Of these, a quarter (28.3%) said violence had been aimed at them and a quarter (28.7%) said it had been towards a teacher, while 80.6% said that they had dealt with violence aimed at another pupil.
The vast majority (88.7%) said they had been faced with pushing and shoving, with three quarters (74.8%) saying they had dealt with punching and hitting. Other types of violence included kicking (56.7%), spitting (18.5%), biting (16.4%) and scratching (16.4%) while 4.2% said they had dealt with pupils stabbing or attempting to stab someone.
One member of the support staff at a secondary school in Wales said: "I had a female student threaten to kick the smile off my face, in front of a whole class." A teacher at an English state secondary told researchers: "Six boys were refusing to work, throwing glue, pens, fighting and throwing books."
The survey, which questioned 814 people working in UK schools, found that the vast majority of bad behaviour was low level disruption, such as pupils talking in class and not paying attention (cited by 87.1%) followed by students being disrespectful, by refusing to comply with rules, ignoring requests and using mobile phones during lessons (84.7%).
The poll suggests that poor parenting and problems at home are contributing to naughty behaviour in schools. Almost three quarters (72.9%) blamed a lack of positive role models at home, while more than two fifths (42.5%) cited neglect at home as a factor.
The poll questioned 814 teachers, lecturers and support staff at UK state and independent schools in March.
A Department for Education spokesman said: "Unless there is good behaviour in schools, teachers cannot teach and students cannot learn. We want to put teachers back in control of the classroom. That is why we are clarifying the disciplinary processes in schools so that teachers are better able to deal quickly with bad behaviour."