Teachers back zero tolerance approach to bad behaviour

More than 80% of teachers blame parents for children’s unruly behaviour in the classroom, a new survey has revealed.

And nearly a third of the 500 primary and secondary teachers surveyed by the television channel Teachers’ TV support punishment for parents for their children’s disobedience.

Newly qualified teachers are the most likely to support such a policy. However, 70% of all teachers asked said they would support a “zero tolerance” approach to disruptive behaviour in the classroom.

Heads are as worried as teachers, with almost two-thirds believing their current powers to punish bad behaviour are inadequate.

The findings come as a study commissioned by the teachers’ and head teachers’ union NASUWT reveals that a lack of discipline in the classroom is forcing many new teachers to reconsider their careers.

General secretary Chris Keates said the study of 75 teachers in the first two years of their careers showed that the profession was in danger of losing significant numbers of newly qualified teachers.

A report on tackling classroom discipline is due to be published by the government’s behaviour task force later this month.

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