THE head of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw, rightly points out (Yorkshire Post, December 12) that England’s schools are suffering from a culture of “casual acceptance” of misbehaviour, and lessons should not be undermined by “background chatter, inattention and horseplay”. And so say all of us!
This creeping acceptance of unacceptable behaviour has slowly evolved over the last 30 years or so, partly as discipline has constantly been eroded. Sadly nothing like enough has been done to address the issue. It is now time for much firmer action to be taken.
Firstly, much stronger discipline must be implemented in all schools. Secondly, those causing any disruption must be excluded much more quickly. Thirdly, those who cannot, or will not, accept the sort of behaviour required must be moved into special schools so that the teaching of the majority is not affected by the actions of the few.
Pupils should be able to be taught in peaceful surroundings, with respect for both those in charge and for their fellow students. Those who cannot accept this must not be allowed to remain in mainstream schools as is too often the case now.
No wonder we are producing children with too low a level of academic achievement in far too many cases. This has to change, and needs to be acted upon urgently. Further, there has to be an issue in connection with pupils who do not have a good command of the English language. This again must be an unwelcome and unnecessary distraction for others in class.
Such children really need to be taught in separate classes until their English is up to speed.
Only when all such matters are suitably addressed will we ever start to make proper progress with levels of achievement.