Goves advice on pupil discipline is off the mark, says educational recruitment specialist
TLTP Education (The London Teaching Pool) says that, whilst its candidates share Mr Gove’s concerns about the need to improve discipline in the classroom, his suggestions are too simplistic and that many teachers lack the confidence, skills and, in some cases, support to take on misbehaving students.
“The Secretary of State’s concerns are perfectly valid but his proposed solutions are not that viable,” explains Darryl Mydat, Managing Director of TLTP Education.
“We know from our own research that abusive pupil behaviour is a major source of concern and stress for teachers. Over quarter of teachers that we surveyed told us that pupil behaviour was one of their biggest challenges whilst 65% told us they had either been verbally abused in school or knew a colleague who had been. This is an area that needs to be gripped. However, a young teacher in a secondary school is unlikely to stand up to a 16 year old student, who may be physically intimidating, surrounded by his friends, and tell him he has to pick up litter and then, even, have to face the wrath of his parents the following day. It’s unrealistic.”
Mydat says teachers on its books feel they need better training in how to deal with students, who may be stronger and becoming increasingly confident and brazen in the way they act. The circumstances also differ, says Mydat, from school to school, with some teachers requiring more of a support network from school management and continuing professional development to help them address the issue of pupil behaviour.
“Teachers tell us that they go into the profession because they want to educate and they want to make a difference to the lives of young people,” adds Mydat.
“Maintaining discipline is obviously a part of the job but they are questioning whether this kind of sanction will actually lead to improved behaviour and certainly they tell us that they didn’t sign up to be policemen or prison officers. I know many who would like Mr Gove to join them in their schools and show them how to impose these kind of sanctions first hand so they can see how he gets on.