Male staff face more behaviour problems

David Marley

Male teachers face more pupil behaviour problems than their female colleagues, according to research released by the National Union of Teachers on Monday.

Over the past seven years, male teachers have experienced a greater increase in pupils answering back than female staff, academics found.

During the same period, men also reported an increase in lesson disruption, while women experienced a decrease, according the analysis carried out at Warwick University.

The figures come from a survey of NUT members on unacceptable pupil behaviour. A similar survey was carried out in 2001, allowing for the comparisons.

On whether teachers experience lesson disruption on a weekly basis, 76.8 per cent of men said this year that they did, compared with 65.7 per cent of women. The figures in 2001 were 72.5 per cent and 67.5 per cent respectively.

Men also suffer more threats at the hands of angry parents, with 4.1 per cent of male teachers every week reporting a threat, compared with 2.6 per cent of women.

Similar numbers of men and women - about four in 10 - said they received annual behaviour training, a number the union described as "unacceptably low".

Christine Blower, the NUT's acting general secretary, also criticised the small proportions of staff - 15.2 per cent of men and 18.1 per cent of women - who reported that they received excellent support with "problem pupils".

The figures have been released following fresh analysis by researchers. The main findings of the survey of 1,500 teachers were released at the union's annual conference last spring.

They showed that compared with 2001, overall patterns of disruptive behaviour were similar in 2008, and that some of the more serious problems, including damage to property, were falling.

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David Marley

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