Schools are the “last bastions” of traditional values in a culture where children are increasingly faced with poor role models, school leaders have asserted.
The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) said that today’s youngsters need to be taught to sort out their differences in a “rational and restrained” way.
At the same time they are surrounded by TV programmes, such as soaps, that show people constantly shouting at each other and reality shows that suggest there are “quick” ways to become successful.
Speaking at ASCL’s annual conference in Birmingham, general secretary Brian Lightman said: “Children are faced with a lot of different role models these days, not all of which are the most positive. They see examples on TV, in celebrity culture, of people not speaking the right way and not interacting in a way we would expect people to.
“In many ways schools are the last bastions of those traditional values. We do assert old fashioned standards of discipline and we do that unashamedly because we do see it as our job to educate children in that way.”
He said that soap operas show “people shouting at each other, using very, very emotive language, everything’s very dramatic, histrionic.”
Schools try to teach pupils to “understand people’s differences in a much more rational and perhaps restrained way,” Mr Lightman added.
In her speech, ASCL president Joan McVittie suggested that schools are teaching many pupils good values because they are not learning them at home.