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Ofsted chatter

Improvement in secondary schools has stalled, says the watchdog Ofsted and one reason is bad pupil behaviour. In secondaries inspected in 2013/14, there was a seven percentage point fall in the proportion of schools where behaviour and safety were judged good or outstanding compared with inspections conducted in 2012/13.

Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI), said: “This means that over 400,000 pupils attend a secondary school where behaviour is poor, preventing pupils from learning and teachers from teaching. This is unacceptable. Inspectors found far too many instances of pupils gossiping, calling out without permission, using their mobiles, being slow to start work or follow instructions, or failing to bring the right books or equipment to class. While these are minor infractions in themselves, cumulatively they create a hubbub of interference that makes teaching and learning difficult and sometimes impossible.

“In our recent report ‘Below the radar’, we discovered that pupils in England are potentially losing up to an hour of learning each day because of low-level disruption in the classroom. This is the equivalent of 38 days of teaching lost a year. Too many secondary schools are failing to deal with poor behaviour in a consistent manner. This is because leaders have not communicated their behaviour policies well enough to the school community and have not adopted a high enough profile in and around the school.”

The report summed up: “The essential ingredients for success are no secret and have been well documented from time immemorial – strong leadership, a positive and orderly culture, good teaching and robust assessment systems.”

For the report in full click here. The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates childcare and children’s social care, schools and colleges.


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