NASUWT comments on Ofsted’s pupils behaviour report

Commenting on Ofsted’s report, Below the Radar-Low Level Disruption in the Country’s Classrooms, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:

“The Chief Inspector is, as usual, talking nonsense to suggest that teachers accept poor behaviour from pupils or are failing to address it.

“The NASUWT’s annual Big Question survey of teachers, which we have been conducting for the last three years and to which we had over 12,000 responses this year, demonstrates a widespread problem with low level disruption.

“This survey shows that teachers are working hard to maintain high standards of behaviour, but in too many cases are not being supported appropriately.

“Teachers need to be backed by school management, but regrettably too many school leaders have not taught for years and have lost touch with the day-to-day realities of the classroom.

“The impact of government policies are also contributing to the problem of poor behaviour

“Schools are losing specialist behaviour support because of cuts to local authority budgets. Narrowing of the curriculum offer is leading to disaffection among young people. Schools are using increasing numbers of unqualified staff to replace teachers and essential guidance and support which used to exist for schools has been axed from the DfE website.

“None of this is helping teachers to maintain discipline in the classroom.

“What teachers want is resources and clear, consistent support so that valuable teaching time is not wasted getting pupils ready to learn.”

Notes to editors

The NASUWT Big Question survey is an annual survey of teachers on a range of issues affecting their wellbeing and professionalism. Over 12,000 teachers responded to the 2014 survey.

On pupil behaviour the survey found that:

  • 68% think there is a widespread pupil behaviour problem in schools today;
  • 38% believe that there is a pupil behaviour problem in their school;
  • Teachers say the top five causes of pupil indiscipline are a lack of parental support (72%), pupils not coming to school ready to learn (50%); low pupil aspirations (45%); lack of back up from senior management teams (40%) and class sizes being too large (40%);
  • The top five day to day behaviour problems encountered by teachers are chatter in class (66%); the failure of pupils to complete work (58%); the inability of pupils to follow rules (55%); backchat (51%); and the failure of pupils to bring equipment to lessons (46%);
  • Over half (52%) of teachers have been subject to verbal abuse by a pupil, nearly a quarter (24%) have experienced verbal abuse by a parent/carer, 13% have had threats of physical assault by a pupil and 9% have been physically assaulted by a pupil. 3% have experienced abuse through online social networking sites by a pupil and 3% from a parent or carer. 2% have been threatened with physical assault by a parent or carer and 0.3% have been physically assaulted by a parent or carer;
  • Half of teachers (50%) do not feel supported by their senior management team to deal with pupil indiscipline;
  • Just 3% of teachers say they are always provided with support to deal with pupil indiscipline. Nearly half (49%) say they are rarely or never given support.

Lena Davies
Press and Media Officer
0121 457 6250 / 07867 392746