Charity drops survey into child behaviour

A MAJOR study of anti-social behaviour among primary pupils has painted such a grim picture that the children's charity which commissioned it does not wish to reveal its results.

ChildLine had planned this week to publish the findings of a survey of around 1,500 adults, who were asked their views on children's behaviour and values.

The charity had announced earlier in the month that the survey by research company BMRB would focus on "the perceived escalation in anti-social behaviour and violence among children and the rising number of primary school exclusions".

But ChildLine spokeswoman Pauline Hughes this week said the charity had decided against printing the results, because they were so overwhelmingly negative.

"We were not expecting them to be so down on children," she said. "They are adults' views, not facts, but it would be very difficult for us to release the survey."

The results have been passed on to ChildLine's policy department, which is expected to launch new research into why adults have such a dismal view of primary pupils' behaviour. The only figure from the survey to be revealed is that nine out of 10 adults believed that encouraging the development of moral and social responsibility in under-11s was essential.

Eamonn O'Kane, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, said: "It is a regrettable fact that the behaviour of some primary children is such that very young children are excluded."

A survey by The TES last year found that two-thirds of teachers felt that pupil behaviour had deteriorated since 1997.

ChildLine's study was due to be published to coincide with the launch of a citizenship teaching pack designed to help with lessons on respect, tolerance, empathy and compassion as part of its Helping Kids Grow campaign.

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