Male teachers face more bad behaviour by pupils

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education Male teachers are bearing the brunt of pupils' aggression in the classroom, according to a survey to be published today.

More pupils are likely to answer male teachers back in the classroom and disrupt their lessons. Female teachers report a drop in rowdy behaviour, though they are more likely to be harangued by aggressive parents.

Release of the research by the University of Warwick, commissioned by the National Union of Teachers, coincides with new figures published by the Conservatives showing the number of school suspensions topped 200,000 last year – many for offences that warranted permanent exclusion.

Teachers' leaders believe the discrepancy in the university's figures is down to pupils believing it is easier to push the boundaries with male teachers.

The picture painted by the research shows similar overall levels of disruption in the two years (2001 and 2008) – although the trend is towards more aggression against male teachers.

The university poll of 1,500 teachers revealed that 80 per cent of male teachers face pupils answering them back every week compared with 70.8 per cent of female teachers.