Responding to the comments made by Barnardos that schools must do more to tackle the root causes of poor pupil behaviour, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“Schools already do a great deal to tackle poor pupil behaviour and do a great job in maintaining good order and discipline.
“As Barnardos acknowledge, the causes for poor pupil behaviour are often complex and deep rooted.
"Identifying what may be contributing to poor behaviour and tackling problems at an early stage is crucial.
"Parental support for teachers and schools is also a crucial factor, with children being sent to schools with the right attitude to education and ready to learn.
"In a recent NASUWT survey of 15,000 teachers, well over half considered lack of parental support to be a key contributory factor to poor behaviour.
"But schools cannot tackle these issues alone. This was the important lesson learned over the last decade.
"Collaboration with other schools is important. Access to specialist support at an early stage is essential. A curriculum that is broad and balanced and gives parity of esteem between vocational and academic subjects, helping all children and young people to develop their skills and talents is critical.
"Unfortunately, on the watch of this Coalition Government we have seen vital specialist support services reduced or removed altogether, programmes of support for the most disadvantaged young people abandoned, policies introduced which promote competition between schools, rather than collaboration, and the development of elitist education policies which will feed disaffection and alienation, rather than support schools in tackling the issue of behaviour. The proposals to redefine special needs will compound the difficulties.
"In the recent NASUWT survey, more than eight out of ten teachers (84%) did not believe that the Coalition Government's strategies to tackle pupil indiscipline would help them to maintain order.
"While it is right to call for the causes of bad behaviour to be examined, something teachers do day in day out, Barnardos should be calling on the Coalition to provide teachers and schools with the support they need."
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