Dis­ci­pline in schools hits ‘all-time low’ un­der SNP

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - By Gra­ham Grant Home Af­fairs Ed­i­tor

SCOT­LAND’S class­room dis­ci­pline cri­sis has reached its worst level as po­lit­i­cally cor­rect rules al­low prob­lem pupils to run riot, a teach­ing union will warn to­day.

Kevin Camp­bell, pres­i­dent of the Scottish Sec­ondary Teach­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (SSTA) , be­lieves ‘be­hav­iour and re­la­tion­ships in schools’ has hit an ‘all-time low’.

So­cial in­clu­sion poli­cies mean dis­rup­tive chil­dren are ed­u­cated along­side well-be­haved peers in main­stream classes, while head­teach­ers are un­der pres­sure to cut ex­clu­sions of the worst-be­haved pupils.

Re­search by the union found that nearly one in five sec­ondary school teach­ers has been as­saulted by pupils – in­clud­ing a teacher at­tacked by a pupil who threw a chisel.

Mr Camp­bell also warns of teach‘ ers de­sert­ing the pro­fes­sion and will con­demn the Scottish Gov­ern­ment’s ‘re­fusal to lis­ten to rea­son’ as he pushes for a 10 per cent pay rise.

Last night, Scottish Tory ed­u­ca­tion spokesman Liz Smith said: ‘It is vi­tal for chil­dren and teach­ers to op­er­ate in a well-dis­ci­plined and safe en­vi­ron­ment so it is al­ways dis­turb­ing when teach­ers re­port the op­po­site.

‘It is es­pe­cially wor­ry­ing when a teach­ing union re­ports dis­ci­pline in schools is at an all-time low since that, clearly, can have a ma­jor im­pact on learn­ing and morale.

‘The SNP must lis­ten to teach­ers... and en­sure that the best prac­tice of those schools which have been suc­cess­ful in adopt­ing much bet­ter dis­ci­pline can be shared with other schools fac­ing dif­fi­cul­ties.’

The union’s an­nual con­fer­ence is be­ing held in Cri­eff, Perthshire. Mr Camp­bell will tell del­e­gates: ‘In the short term, we need man­age­ment teams and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to de­velop the will to deal with the most dis­rup­tive pupils and with par­ents who sim­ply won’t en­gage with the school. The lev­els of dis­rup­tion in class­rooms can­not be al­lowed to con­tinue.

‘You need to be re­spon­si­ble for your be­hav­iour. We cre­ate an illusion in our schools – the illusion of a so­ci­ety where you don’t have to an­swer for your ac­tions. Ac­tions have con­se­quences – our young peo­ple need to learn this.’

Mr Camp­bell will also con­demn the SNP’s ‘pupil eq­uity fund’, which gives cash to schools to help them to com­bat the ‘at­tain­ment gap’, say­ing it has be­come a ‘bureau­cratic headache’.

He will also raise the risk of in­dus­trial ac­tion in a bat­tle over a 10 per cent pay de­mand, backed by the Ed­u­ca­tional In­sti­tute of Scot­land.

The Scottish Gov­ern­ment said: ‘Most pupils be­have well in school but teach­ers should not have to tol­er­ate dis­rup­tive be­hav­iour. Our re­freshed guid­ance to pre­vent ex­clu­sions places greater im­por­tance on pre­ven­ta­tive ap­proaches.

‘We are also com­mit­ting £750mil­lion to tackle the poverty-re­lated at­tain­ment gap – in­clud­ing an­other £120mil­lion pupil eq­uity fund­ing.’

The spokesman added: ‘We value Scot­land’s teach­ers highly and are pro­vid­ing £112mil­lion this year to fund coun­cils to main­tain teacher num­bers, in­clud­ing the re­cent teacher pay award.’

‘Dis­rup­tion can’t con­tinue’

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