Plan for teacher training to focus more on tackling bad behaviour in class

How to deal with naughty pupils in the classroom is set to play a bigger role in teacher training.

Under new proposals, Ofsted plans to focus on the way teachers are trained to deal with poor behaviour in lessons.

It comes amid continuing concerns about discipline in schools, particularly low-level disruption.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson backed the move, saying that “a single instance of bad behaviour” can disrupt a class for every child.

Ofsted said putting more emphasis on behaviour during its inspections of teacher training will mean that future teachers know how to manage behaviour, how to teach pupils to behave and how to create an environment in school that focuses on learning.

The proposals will be put out for consultation next year.

The inspectorate also published a series of recommendations, including calling for school leaders to have “clear, consistent” behaviour policies and to get parents to back them.

In a commentary on behaviour, Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman said: “Effective behaviour management means that low-level disruption is not tolerated and pupils’ behaviour does not disrupt lessons or the day-to-day life of the school.

“Pupils can learn; teachers can teach; staff can do their job; and parents have confidence that their child is safe and supported to do the best that they can.

“If we do not get managing behaviour right, we will not be able to provide children with the quality of education they deserve. It should therefore surprise no-one that we are concerned with ensuring that we know and inspect behaviour well.”

Ms Spielman said there are small groups of children, such as those with a disability, mental health issues, or those going through difficult circumstances who may struggle with behaviour.

But she added that “the vast majority of pupils in a school are capable of behaving well, and most can and should do so for much of the time”.

The Ofsted chief added: “The vast majority of those who do not behave can be taught to do so through explicit teaching and effective behaviour management.

“This group should therefore not be confused with the minority of pupils with particular needs or life circumstances.

“In some cases, we found evidence of teachers and leaders defining this latter group too broadly and thus potentially undermining the consistency of their approach.”

Mr Williamson said: “A single instance of bad behaviour, whether it’s messing around with a mobile or talking over the teacher, can disrupt learning for every child in a class. That’s why I’m keen that we empower teachers to deal with low-level bad behaviour and this move from Ofsted helps us do just that.”

He said the Government was investing £10 million in setting up “behaviour hubs” so that schools with a good track record in the area can share their expertise.

A report published by Ofsted earlier this year found that while most pupils are well behaved, low-level disruption is still a concern for many teachers.

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