I have to admit to being slightly concerned as to school's minister Ms. Smith's take on the situation after reading this:
[she said that] it was easy to forget that pupil behaviour in the majority of schools was good for most of the time. "Ofsted has reported improvements in behaviour in our classrooms this year, rating it as satisfactory or better in 94% of secondary and 99% of primary schools," she said.
Ho hum. I am not clear whether this is simple political spin or genuine delusion. Either way, it doesn't seem accurate. From a previous post "Back to School Bullying":
"school 'bullying policies' are unable to prevent bullying. The great majority of bullying is not reported to teachers or noticed by them. A Canadian study videotaped children playing in a schoolyard and found that teachers were aware of only 17% of the bullying observed by the researchers. Of the incidents they did see, they only chose to intervene 23% of the time which gave an overall intervention rate of 3.9%."
I have to admit, we haven't spent much time recently with many schooled children. In fact we only saw one yesterday, so my overall perspective on this situation is hugely limited. But the thing is, this child is a kind, gentle, trustworthy teen who regularly cares for and plays with my child. My child loves this child and the relationship is tender, teasing, comical, fun. I love hearing those peels of giggles that my children emit when playing with this person. Yet in school she is hated by the other girls for the crime of being pretty. She has had her belongings repeatedly nicked and recently had her head bashed against a mirror in the girls' loos. She then lost her temper and slammed the ring leader's fingers in a loo door. The point of reporting this? Well, no teacher has any idea that any of this was going on, so how Ofsted claim to know what they are talking about is not immediately obvious, just from my one example.
And as a final point on this, outside of the school situation, this child is a fully functioning responsible, kind human being. In school she is forced to be something else altogether.
But back to Ms. Smith. Call me cynical but I'm tending towards the idea that her assertion above was a matter of spin, not least because it came in the context of proposing to extend the powers of teachers to deal with poor behaviour, this time outside the school gates.
Given that teachers appear to be failing to cope with the situation inside the school gates, it looks like another hopeless, delusional proposal.