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