March 28, 2013

Survey Reveals Increase in Disruptive Pupil Behaviour

Results of an Association of Teachers and Lecturers' (ATL) survey show the majority of education staff say there has been a rise in the number of children with emotional, behavioural or mental health problems over the past five years coupled with worsening student behaviour in schools and colleges. 

In the survey of 844 education staff almost 90% of support staff, teachers, lecturers, school heads and college leaders said they have dealt with a challenging or disruptive student during this school year. The main targets of challenging behaviour were other students (cited by 72%), followed by teaching staff (46%), and then support staff (43%). 

Between students the most prevalent challenging behaviour was verbal aggression (cited by 77%), followed by physical aggression (57%), bullying in person (41%), and breaking or ruining other students' belongings (23%). 

Most of the disruptive and challenging behaviour facing education staff was fairly low level with 79% of staff complaining that students talked in class, did not pay attention and mucked around. Sixty-eight per cent said students were disrespectful and ignored their instructions, 55% said they had had to deal with verbally aggressive students, and a fifth (21%) had had to deal with a physically aggressive student.