Think-tank says schools should address ‘crisis in authority’


Good and Outstanding Ofsted ratings should only be given to schools that push higher behavioural standards, think-tank Policy Exchange has claimed.

The organisation’s head of education and culture, Dr Joanna Williams, has said that there is a “crisis in authority” in schools and voiced concerns over whether pupils give enough respect to teaching staff.

A report, titled It Just Grinds You Down, saw Dr Williams suggest that the concept of teaching having authority over submissive pupils is “considered at best unfashionable” and potentially even “dangerous”.

Education secretary Damian Hinds has backed the findings of the report, which calls for new teacher and leadership training, enhanced policies on smartphone use in the classroom and alternations to the way Ofsted inspects schools.

Mr Hinds unveiled plans for a review of government behaviour guidance in October and unveiled plans for funding support that will see schools given a share of £10 million to promote best practice.

There is also a need to address the root causes of poor behaviour, especially when it comes to supporting vulnerable pupils.

According to Policy Exchange, 80% of secondary school teachers view disruption as a regular occurrence, with more than half of teaching staff suggesting that it has a negative impact on pupils’ education.

Having surveyed 743 secondary school teachers for the research, the think-tank has warned that the government needs to take low-level disruption more seriously.

Dr Williams has said that Ofsted should monitor the behaviour policy within a school to ensure that it is being implemented, prior to awarding Good or Outstanding grades.

She also suggested that school leadership training should highlight the responsibilities of head teachers when it comes to managing pupil behaviour.

Including more behaviour management training techniques in initial teacher training is another potential option, the think-tank has said.