Teachers are not to blame for the amount of school suspensions and exclusions, says the NASUWT.


TEACHERS are not to blame for the amount of school suspensions and exclusions, says the NASUWT.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said pupil exclusion figures – an average of 878 children taken out of school each day for abuse or assault – showed that weak discipline remains a problem in schools.

But NASUWT General Secretary Chris Keates replied:

“Far from highlighting weak discipline, exclusion shows that schools are taking strong steps to tackle poor pupil behaviour.
“What the exclusion figures show is the nature of the behaviour issues many teachers are managing on a daily basis.

“It’s what lies behind the figures, rather than the figures themselves, that should be the focus of attention.

“Exclusion will be used more and more by schools as local authority behaviour support and pupil support services and early intervention strategies are savagely cut and school budgets are reduced as a result of the Coalition’s policy of public sector cuts.

“If it’s serious about tackling pupil indiscipline, the Coalition should be investing in these proven services, rather than frittering away public money on its obsessive pursuit of bankrolling private providers to experiment with free schools for excluded pupils.

“The DfE claims to be giving more powers to teachers but, unfortunately, these are not the ones they need.

“In a recent NASUWT survey of over 8,500 teachers, only 15% thought the Education Bill’s proposed extended powers to search were a good idea and less than half thought increased powers of detention would be helpful.

“In the last decade an unprecedented range of sanctions to support teachers in tackling pupil indiscipline was introduced.

“It’s not more sanctions teachers need but the backing to use the ones that exist.

“They want to be managed by people who understand the day-to-day realities of the classroom and who respect their professional judgement.

“68% of teachers think lack of parental support is a contributory factor to pupil indiscipline and a failure to send pupils to school ready to learn.

“Over 60% of teachers in the survey highlighted the disruption to lessons and the teaching time lost dealing with pupils who fail to complete homework, bring the right equipment and refuse to follow school rules.”

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