Children Losing out on Education due to Disruptive Behaviour
Low level disruption has become a concern, with recent Ofsted reports stating ‘children are losing up to an hour of education a day’.
The report was raised when Ofsted’s Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw raised concerns from his annual report in 2012/2013.
Wilshaw commented on the findings: ‘That’s why Ofsted has tightened the guidance on behaviour for inspection and increased the number of unannounced inspections undertaken as a result of concerns.
Kelsie Clark-Davies, a child behaviour specialist who leads in social inclusion at William Bellamy Primary School, which recently received a rating of good from Ofsted reports, East London explains:
‘The key aspect that any school needs is a clear and consistent behaviour policy that is shared throughout the whole school’.
A recent study carried out by Ofsted reported that children lose up to an hour of education a day due to disruptive behaviour.
The inspection, based upon 95 state schools and academies across the country, sees disruptive behaviour as now being accepted by teachers as part of everyday life in the classroom.
Ofsted Chief, Sir Michael Wilshaw, said about the report: “low-level disruption in class is preventing too many teachers from doing their jobs”. Two thirds of the teachers who took the survey complained that school leaders are failing to assert their authority when dealing with poor discipline and pupils flouting the school rules.
Wilshaw explains there was a “blurring of lines between friendliness and familiarity” and teachers were “losing respect along the way”.
A study by Ofsted and YouGov showed problems including swinging on chairs, calling out and not getting on with work as the main cause for concern in primary schools. The survey based upon 1,024 parents and 1,048 teachers showed it was a bigger problem than expected from parents.
Disruptive behaviour is being accepted by teachers as part of everyday life in the classroom.
Stay on Green, a policy recently introduced in the school, includes a range of positive behaviour management strategies, which give the opportunity for pupils to move from warnings to rewards, ranging from ‘red’ to ‘gold’.
Clark-Davies continued: ‘The behaviour policy has been firmly embedded throughout the whole school. Parents, teachers and pupils are aware of the system’.
Stay on Green has been embedded in numerous primary schools. Children can earn ratings of gold, silver and bronze, dependent on their behaviour, with red and yellow seen as poor and disruptive.
Clark-Davies continued: ‘I believe in our school our ethos permeates throughout the school that we are very child centred and they come absolutely first. Sometimes it’s about looking beyond the behaviour, what is the behaviour trying to tell us. We talk about behaviour as a communication so if a child is behaving in a certain way that needs meeting somewhere along the way.
William Bellamy try to understand the underlining problem with the pupils behaviour, and if there is a difficulty in learning, by providing support and interventions to the particular child.
‘We have a number of interventions in place: we (William Bellamy) have a team of learning mentorsacross the school so they work with identifying pupils that are referred to them so if we have a child that was hitting ‘yellow’ on our behaviour system (Yellow is featured as one of the lowest stages where the teacher then has to contact the pupils parents) hitting frequently then we could refer them to our learning mentor who works with the parent, the child and sets targets’.
YouGov, who specially conducted a survey for Ofsted, cited behaviour such as fidgeting, talking and chatting in class as some main problems for primary school pupils.
Improving our education system is significant with Ofsted chief Wilshaw stating: schools need to ‘compete at the highest levels’.
High expectations of behaviour are consistent in dealing with disruptive pupils and enforcing their expectations successfully to staff, pupils and parents. William Bellamy Primary School’s Head Teacher Miss Preston discusses the behavioural policy ‘Stay on Green’ more in detail:
‘We promote good attitudes for learning as all teaching staff is encouraging and rewarding children for good behaviour/attitudes for learning. Children are very keen to get ‘bronze’, ‘silver’ and ‘gold’ as they receive positive recognition for this.
The names of pupils achieving ‘gold’ are added into the golden book and read out during school assembly, and their parents receive a phone call home to praise the children’s good behaviour. Children achieving ‘bronze’, receive a bronze sticker and praise.
‘These achievements are celebrated every week in a whole school assembly where these positive messages are delivered and reinforced. Often children progress from ‘green’ to ‘bronze’, ‘silver’ and ‘gold’.
In case of inappropriate behaviour, Miss Preston explains: ‘parents are always consulted; we believe working together with the parents give the child the best support in making improvements’.
According to YouGov, 4/5 of the parents surveyed wanted the school to communicate its expectations around behaviour clearly and regularly.
Parents are becoming more involved with their children. Denise Moore, a primary school parent of Rush Green Primary School, conducted an extensive research about where to send her daughter:
‘My child’s education is extremely important to me and deciding where the best options are in my local area is significant, especially with the recent Ofsted reports’
She continued: ‘Key factors such as behaviour policies and workshop programmes help improve the school’s environment and strive the children for good results.
The Ofsted report concludes that leader’s teachers, parents and pupils need to share responsibility and need to know if and where low-level disruption occurs and ensure that all staff deals with it.