Bad behaviour in schools 'fuelled by over-indulgent parents'
Over-indulgent middle-class parents are fuelling a rise in bad behaviour by failing to set boundaries for their children, teachers’ leaders in the UK have warned.
Pupils are being allowed to run wild with a “total disregard of school rules” because of a lack of proper discipline in the home, it was claimed.
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers in England warned that a quarter of members had been physically attacked at school in the last 12 months, with staff being pushed, scratched, punched, bitten, kicked and spat at. A third had been forced to deal with violence directed at them or other pupils.
Half of teachers said behaviour – particularly low-level disruption – had worsened in the last two years.
The biggest problems cited by teachers included children failing to pay attention, showing disrespect, using mobile phones in class and hurling verbal abuse at adults.
In many cases, staff said pupils were “very aware of their rights” and unafraid to challenge adult authority.
Mary Bousted, ATL general secretary, blamed a lack of good parenting, claiming that middle-class children were just as likely to misbehave as those from poor families.
“A minority of pupils are very aware of their rights, have a total disregard of school rules and are rather less aware of their responsibility for their own learning and how to show respect to staff and other students,” she said.
“This can apply as much to over-indulged middle-class children as those from challenging families. It is not surprising to see that poor behaviour is often attributed to problems at home.”
The ATL surveyed 814 teachers and support staff across Britain ahead of the union’s annual conference in Manchester next week.