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Ridiculous PC nonsense

1. To introduce a zero tolerance for minor disruptions. To phase out individual warnings in favour of whole class warnings.

The most serious problem cited by teachers today is that of persistent, minor disruptions. Over one lesson, it is estimated that as much as 80% of the learning can be lost. The effect of these minor disruptions over a lifetime of schooling is much, much more serious than many people realise.


How serious? The low quality of skills in this country has seriously affected the economy. A growing lack of adult authority has bred a 'spoilt generation' of children who believe grown-ups must earn their respect. In a report by Dr Sigman, (psychologist, broadcaster and author), the problems blighting 'broken Britain' are linked to lack of discipline in the home and in schools. Misguided attempts to empower children, to let them make their own decisions and to treat adults with suspicion have resulted in children who mock authority.


Most schools have a standard 'warning before punishment' system. The teacher is expected to warn each pupil individually, usually two times before a mild punishment, such as a short detention can be given. These days, standards have dropped so that the majority of teachers do not normally correct behaviour that in the past would have been considered rude. Head Teachers proudly speak of improvements when in reality teachers must correct behaviour as often as once every 10 seconds. In actual tests, four teachers rated as ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED were observed over five lessons with KS3. These teachers were required on average to correct behaviour once every 30 seconds. In addition to this, each of these teachers ‘exploded with anger’ on three out of the five lessons.


Surely it is all about how good the teacher is at classroom control? Not any more. Experienced teachers of thirty years are dealing with petty disruption and abuse on a daily basis. The greatest problem age group is Years 7-9.


Zero tolerance is all that is necessary. The proposal is to phase out individual warnings in favour of whole class warnings. If you put this to the test you will see that the pupils know the rules; there is no need to remind them every 10 seconds. This is how it works:

The teacher gives an instruction to listen. To make this absolutely clear, the teacher could hold up a red card to indicate that he has something important to say and that he does not wish to be interrupted. Any interruption results in an immediate higher level punishment. Within one week, all the pupils in your school will learn to behave during all lessons. Your grades will go up and literacy levels will rise. In fact, behaviour and standards will resemble those of an expensive private school.   


The system should allow for teacher discretion. Teachers who enjoy a healthy banter will be free to continue and as soon as they wish to be heard they can command it. Every teacher and every school is different. Many high-performing schools are unlikely to need strong new measures. However, we all know how hard parents try to avoid sending their children to the poor performing schools. These ones desperately cry out for discipline. As any teacher knows, discipline is directly related to results. Poor discipline = poor results. It's a fact. Why are we checking teachers with OFSTED inspections? The teachers are not the problem!


Poor discipline starts in the home. Some parents allow their children to get away with too much when they are young children. By the time they are teenagers, it is too late. Too many warnings and no punishments has resulted in kids who just mock authority.


Restore Order proposes that this system should be flexible so that the power is put back into ALL of the teachers' hands. There must be a system where the adults decide what behaviour to allow, not the kids. It is time to put the teacher back in charge of the classroom.

Copyright 2008, Restore Order