Crowd Control in Classroom; A New Survey Suggests an Alarming Slide in the Behaviour of Pupils. Education Correspondent Richard Warburton Talks to Dr Sean Neill, the Expert Who Carried out the Study

The Birmingham Post (England), September 21, 2001 | Go to article overview

Crowd Control in Classroom; A New Survey Suggests an Alarming Slide in the Behaviour of Pupils. Education Correspondent Richard Warburton Talks to Dr Sean Neill, the Expert Who Carried out the Study


Byline: Richard Warburton

For many years teachers have complained of a rise in destructive pupil behaviour and violence in the classroom.

With rumours of the teaching profession becoming little more than crowd control, a new survey suggests the teachers are right.

Dr Sean Neill, from the University of Warwick's institute of education, claims routine physical and verbal violence among youngsters is having a profound effect on their learning.

'For some time teachers and the National Union of Teachers have received reports of increased classroom disruption but even they have been shocked by the results of this survey.

'The most striking results from the 2,500 questionnaires was the amount of 'weekly' and 'routinely' boxes that were ticked to express the occurrence of extreme classroom disruption.

'Many teachers said there should have been a 'daily' box to tick as the problem of pupil bad behaviour has got out of control.'

Dr Neill said the most common problem was the threat of pupil-on-pupil violence, and not assaults on teachers.

More than 80 per cent of those polled reported it and 43 per cent said they saw it on a weekly basis, while another 19 per cent saw it at least once a month.

Threats of violence by parents towards children had been experienced by about 53 per cent while a third had seen offensive weapons brought into school.

Just over 60 per cent heard bad language from pupils on a weekly basis at least, while 27.5 per cent of teachers said they were verbally insulted on a weekly basis. …

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