Unruly behaviour in schools is far worse than inspectors and official government reports indicate, according to a major study of classroom disruption out today.
Even teachers in the most popular, oversubscribed state schools have to work hard to avoid their classrooms getting out of control, it adds. Hardly any schools are free of disruptive behaviour.
The report coincides with a new survey by unions which warns of rising mental-health problems among teaching staff – with 40 per cent of those saying they have such problems citing poor pupil behaviour as the cause.
Researchers at the University of East Anglia claim official reports have underestimated the amount of disruption in schools. Their report, which looks at four studies over 10 years covering 350 teachers and more than 700 pupils, concludes that the education-standards watchdog, Ofsted, and Sir Alan Steer, the behaviour tsar to the previous Labour government, may have seriously underestimated the problem.