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3 Things We’ve Learnt from Teachers about Behaviour

Laura McInerney reveals some choice snippets of information gathered from recent responses to Teacher Tapp on a topic that’s never far from the headlines...

  • 3 Things We’ve Learnt from Teachers about Behaviour

1 | Around half of new teachers have their last lesson of the week disrupted

How bad is behaviour for new teachers? Really quite bad. Since term started we’ve asked thousands of Tappers if disruptive behaviour in their last lesson on a Friday stopped pupils from learning at any time.

On any given week, we’ve found around half of first year teachers had their lesson disrupted – and it’s getting worse as time wears on. Other educators also suffer with Friday disruptions – but it happens less often than for newbies, and it’s not declining at the same rates.

So, if there’s an NQT on your corridor, spare them a thought on a Friday afternoon, and stick a friendly face in to help if possible.

2 | Silent corridors are controversial in secondary schools… but not so much in primary schools

A secondary school in Birmingham made newspaper headlines recently for banning students from talking in hallways. ‘Silent corridors’ are used in around 8% of secondary schools, but it remains a contentious rule.

Some people think it draconian; others see it as an efficient way of getting pupils from lesson A to lesson B.

Before deciding your own view, it’s worth knowing that the policy is not so uncommon at primary level, where almost 1 in 5 schools demand pupils move silently between lessons.

It could be that the smaller number of learners, plus the fact that they are often accompanied by teachers, means that the approach simply makes more sense in primaries.

But no one has had a meltdown about it, and it does show that a glut of learners will be used to silent corridors when they start Y7; so it may be a fairly uncontroversial policy to implement in secondaries, after all.

3 | Wealthier pupils get detentions for forgetting equipment, poorer pupils are banned from using toilets

Last month, we crunched the figures and found that schools with wealthier intakes are more likely to give out detentions for forgetting to bring equipment than schools with poorer intakes.

Conversely, in schools where pupils come from less well-off families, students are more likely to be banned from going to the toilet during lessons, having a mobile phone, or chatting while queuing up for a lesson.

Are these practical solutions to a higher number of behaviour problems in those areas, or further examples of children being oppressed due to their parents’ wealth? That’s not a question the data can answer.

Interestingly, perhaps, learners in schools with the richest intakes are also most likely to be required to stand up when the headteacher enters the room.

For more snappy insights like this, and to be part of the panel, please join in via the free Teacher Tapp app – available to download for iOS and Android. You will learn something new every day.


Laura McInerney is an education journalist and co-founder of Teacher Tapp. Download the app for free via the App Store on Apple and Android. Follow her on Twitter at @miss_mcinerney.

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