Girls' behaviour in class is 'deteriorating'

 
Passing a note Teachers often complain of low level disruptive behaviour in the classroom

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Girls' behaviour in the classroom seems to be deteriorating as much as their male classmates, a survey of teaching staff suggests.

A survey of teachers, heads and other school staff across the UK found that 44% believed girls' behaviour had worsened in the past two years.

This compares with 43% for boys, says a survey of 859 members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.

But 68% of staff in the survey said boys' behaviour is more difficult.

Half of the surveyed staff thought boys' behaviour had got worse over the past five years, and 48% thought girls' behaviour was worse.

'Friendship problems'

One secondary school teacher who contributed to the study said: "Boys are more physically aggressive and usually to other pupils, with girls it is more name calling, less fighting."

For girls, most staff said bullying such as isolating another pupil from a friendship group, spreading rumours, making snide looks and comments, were the biggest problems (44%).

A 34-year-old teacher from Reading, said: "Girls spread rumours and fall-outs last a long time. Boys tend to sort it out fairly quickly."

And a teaching assistant from Weston-Super-Mare said: "Girls are definitely getting more violent, with gangs of girls in school who are getting worse than the gangs of boys."

A Department for Education spokesman said: "Teachers can't teach effectively and pupils can't learn if discipline is poor or there is continual low-level disruption.

"That's why we're giving teachers tough new powers and underlining their clear authority to crackdown on badly-behaved pupils."

 

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  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 51.

    It's partly a class issue. Girls who grow up with mouthy Jeremy Kyle style mothers think it's normal behaviour to be rude and obnoxious. Just like boys do. And smartphones have made matters much worse as Facebook/Twitter bullying actually happens in the classroom these days. Parents need to start taking responsibility for their children's behaviour.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 50.

    Obviously I wasn't at school in the 1950's or living in Victorian England but Dickens or Conan Doyle would suggest that poverty and child crime were endemic in the late 1800's. Equally 'Just William' (who used to shoot his enemies with air rifles) or 1950's Bash Street Kids or Dennis the Menace suggest badly behaved schoolkids aren't a new thing either.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 49.

    Kids around where I live at the moment still have a little respect for people similar to when I was a kid. Cheeky but will stop hammering a footie off a wall when you pass etc. but when I lived in the city a few years back the kids got worse. They have no respect for anyone anymore and its pretty scary walking past any child there even when they are alone. Smashing cars up.fighting,swearing etc

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 48.

    A good example is people’s attitudes to speeding. Many think it is acceptable to disobey traffic laws but how can you then tell a child that they mustn’t do this or do that.

    We either have laws or we dont!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 47.

    3.

    Feminists hope that that the average man's behaviour would improve to match the average woman's behaviour, not for women to sink to men's level. Mary Wollstonecraft said it first in A Vindication of the Rights of Women, 1792:

    "Personal reserve is ever the hand-maid of modesty. [...] It is obvious that the reserve I mean has nothing sexual in it, I think it EQUALLY necessary in both sexes."

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 46.

    Another non-story... 44% of teachers is not a majority - and what is the age/experience of these teachers? What are they comparing it with? Where did they go to school? Etc., etc.

    Dear BBC, Please reserve your new pages for NEWS.

    Thank you.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 45.

    There are 2 issues here - 1 spoilt children who think they can get away with anything and don't really care about others around them and 2 the ones who think they are 'hard' and won't be told what to do by anybody because its cool to rebel

    These are not new problems. I went to an all girls school which i left in 1995 and this happened then

    Parents undermine teachers so teachers have no power

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 44.

    Well since disciplining children seems to be banned for parents and teachers alike, is it any wonder that they seem to be increasingly out of control? People seem to be shocked and appalled if you so much as raise your voice to a child. I am not suggesting that we give them a good old fashioned beating anytime they do wrong but there has to be a middle ground.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 43.

    @ Grumpovian

    ''These unruly kids'' ... Question is why are they unruly. Obviously everyone has a responsibilty for their own actions but where do they learn this from? This behaviour didn't sprout up from nowhere it is all learnt from someone or something. I'm not an expert and wouldn't attempt to pin point why this is but it definately is not just 'unruly kids' and to say so is a joke

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 42.

    Peter_Sym
    With your last point, I am in complete agreement.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 41.

    Whether girls' behaviour, compared with that of boys, is worsening, is hardly relevant to the issue.

    The fact that pupils of both sexes are allowed to treat their place of education as a forum for foul language and disrespect rather whips the rug from under the feet of those still opposing some form of physical punishment.

    Why are school governors turning a blind eye to teacher power ?

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 40.

    Firstly this is not a gender issue. It seems that whole generations always seem to be classed worse than the last. Its ridiculous to assume a whole generation is worse because I know there was just as much violence if not more in schools in the 60/70s. My grandparents views compared to my parents views compared to my views on bad behaviour/language are all completely different so its hard to judge

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 39.

    Or put another way...
    - c. 56% of teachers don't think that behaviour has got worse over the past 2 years
    - 50% don't think it's got any worse over the past 5 years.

    So statistically the headline isn't even half-true!

    Typical Daily-Mail-style story designed to invite comments criticising teachers, pupils & parents but of course offering no sensible solution to the perceived problem.

  • rate this
    -13

    Comment number 38.

    Introduce Sharia law. Problem solved.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 37.

    If girls' behaviour is deteriorating it is almost certainly a consequence of our equality and diversity focussed society- if you treat everyone the same then don't be suprised if they behave the same......and if this political correctness is considered to be a good thing, then whether girls behave better or worse, or perform better or worse than boys, then this is not a news story!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 36.

    #27. Check out the Red Army in WW2. 1 million women in the ranks, 100,000 in front line combat. The Russians had female fighter aces. No shortage of female resistance fighters in Poland or the Balkans either.

    My point was actually that pre-WW2 BOTH sexes were generally treated like animals by the tiny proportion who owned & ran the country.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 35.

    27. silverfish51
    31 MINUTES AGO
    Peter_Sym
    Sorry for this second one, but as you've found out you have to do it to get all points in. I don't know about caning - wasn't it because while this kind of abuse was used girls weren't educated in schools anyway
    --
    My father was caned (for arguing with a teacher that crocodiles weren't bullet proof) in the 1960's. Girls went to school then!

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 34.

    What's so surprising? Schoolgirls have never been particularly angelic (Enid Blyton stories apart I suppose) and what can you expect from a society where media characterisation of successful women often accentuates bad behaviour normally associated with men? Someone once said that a woman who wants to be like a man lacks ambition. And he was probably right.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 33.

    The whole idea of equality was not to reduce everyone down to the lowest common denominator.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 32.

    As someone who has been through the GCSE education system recently, I believe such discruptive behaviour isnt the production of pupils alone, regardless of their sexes. Often enough, there are always teachers who can command their class effectively. In those lessons, not only pupils behave well, the standard of learning also improve accordingly. Teachers should learn sociology before teaching!

 

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