Education & Family

Ofsted cracks down on classroom behaviour

Classroom scene
Image caption Sir Michael said classroom behaviour was parents' top concern

Schools where poor behaviour is thought to be a problem are to be subject to no-notice inspections, Ofsted says.

The chief inspector of schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw, wants to tackle the "casual acceptance" of low-level disruption and the poor attitudes found in some English schools.

The education inspectorate says 700,000 pupils are attending schools where behaviour needs to improve.

The unannounced inspections are due to start next week.

Head teachers' leaders have criticised the plan and questioned the standard of inspections.

Ofsted said schools were being selected for the one-day visits on the basis of parental concerns as well as evidence gathered from previous inspections.


Sir Michael said good discipline and behaviour in the classroom were parents' number one concern, according to regular polling

But he said the issue was often much further down the priority list of schools themselves.

Inspectors will look at a wide range of evidence to reach a judgement on the standards of behaviour in the school during the visit.

This will include assessing the culture of the school and how pupils interact with each other and with staff.

Inspectors will observe pupils' behaviour in the classroom, between lessons, during breaks and after school.

They will also speak directly to teachers and pupils to see how incidents of poor behaviour are addressed.

The behaviour inspection reports will be published on Ofsted's website and made available to parents.

Ofsted said if it found a school was tackling poor behaviour effectively, this would be made clear in the inspection findings.

"Where there is evidence that behaviour remains a problem, this may result in a full inspection being brought forward," it added.

Sir Michael said: "Parents want to send their children to schools where they can be confident in the knowledge that behaviour is good.

"Ofsted is there to champion this cause.

"Head teachers and leadership teams determine the culture of the school and they must ensure that high standards of behaviour are maintained both in and outside the classroom.

"Good head teachers understand that positive behaviour underpins effective teaching and learning."

'Dawn raids'

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers said behaviour was found to be good or better in 92% of schools at their last inspection.

"Exactly what we need in the current climate of fear and uncertainty surrounding Ofsted - more dawn raids and surprise visits," he said.

"Ofsted is unable to maintain the quality and consistency of its current, planned inspections. The last thing it should do is over-reach still further when so many inspections contain basic mistakes."

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