Poor parenting 'fuels rise in violent behaviour'

Boys fighting Teachers say pupils can lack discipline

Related Stories

Poor parenting and family breakdown is fuelling a rise in violent bad behaviour in UK schools, a survey says.

A third of teachers polled for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers said they had dealt with violence like pushing, punching or kicking this year.

ATL head Mary Bousted said some pupils had a "total disregard" for school rules.

They were as likely to be "overindulged middle class" pupils as disadvantaged ones, she added.

The teaching union surveyed 814 teachers and support staff at UK schools on the issue, and heard tales of violence in the classroom.

Start Quote

I had a female student threaten to kick the smile off my face”

End Quote Welsh teaching assistant

More than half said they felt behaviour had worsened in the past five years.

One teaching assistant at a state primary in England said: "A pupil once hit me in the back totally unexpectedly, because I asked her to put a book away. I was so winded and hurt that I couldn't carry on that day."

Another, at a school in Wales, said: "I had a female student threaten to kick the smile off my face, in front of the whole class."

While a teacher at an English state secondary recalled "six boys refusing to work, throwing glue, pens, fighting and throwing books".

When teachers were asked about the root cause of poor behaviour, three-quarters (72.9%) blamed a lack of positive role models at home.

And nearly two-thirds (62.7%) said that breakdown of relationships within a family was a main cause.

'Lack of respect'

Some 73% said pupils behaved badly because they were seeking attention from their classmates and 42% blamed neglect at home as a factor.

A member of a school management team in England said: "A change in pupils' behaviour is not helped by the lack of respect that parents show towards staff in school - there is no wonder that some pupils are rude when this is what they see as a role model."

Dr Bousted said: "A minority of children are very aware of their rights, have a total disregard for school rules and are rather less aware of their responsibility for their own learning and how to show respect to staff and other students.

"This can apply as much to overindulged middle class children as those from challenging families.

"It is not surprising to see that poor behaviour is often attributed to problems at home.

"Teachers need to work with parents to encourage good behaviour and parents should be acting as good role models by supporting staff and helping them create a more positive learning environment for their children."

A Department for Education spokesman said: "Unless there is good behaviour in schools, teachers cannot teach and students cannot learn. We want to put teachers back in control of the classroom.

"That is why we are toughening up discipline powers so that teachers are better able to deal quickly with bad behaviour.

"Schools can now issue no notice detentions, we have clarified the guidance on use of force and we are giving teachers more search powers."


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 271.

    Children today are spoil and over-indulged by parents and by schools.
    Think back 30 years to when there was proper discipline at home and proper discipline at school. Children were better behaved and had a proper parent/child relationship. So many children seem to have creepy matey-matey relationships with their parents, no wonder children don't know about authority and respect.

  • rate this

    Comment number 266.

    Many adults often work,not out of necessity,but to get luxuries i.e. latest phones, gadgets and status cars.When children are latchkey kids, playing alone at home on their computer games, with parents not understanding game ratings(or not bothered) or kids thinking (after watching so called "reality" shows) that they have a right to a celeb lifestyle, this is the modern day root of problems.Greed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 171.

    Ranting about the parents is only so useful. Child development doesn't happen in isolation in the home - there are media, peer, cultural influences etc, and of course full-time schooling from the age of 4! Maybe society as a whole could take some responsibility....Eg, consider the terrible role models in the media...who buys the offending trash magazines? watches the reality TV shows?...

  • rate this

    Comment number 153.

    While 'bad parenting' is undoubtedly a major cause, I have some sympathy for parents.
    Not only can it be hard to escape how you were raised, but working out how to be a 'good parent' is undeniably difficult, particularly if a kid has social or learning difficulties.
    Any number of social factors can skew perspective on what's right and wrong. I wonder if yearly 'post-natal' classes might help.

  • rate this

    Comment number 148.

    Lack of parental involvement creates resentment which will then seek an outlet for the anger. Another issue is the lack of a positive adult male role model within the family. Violent e games, no sleep time regime causes big problems, poor diet. The really daft solution for this? Teachers are now required to become surrogate parents & social workers, as well as teach curriculum & have a life, crazy


Comments 5 of 13


More Education & Family stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.