It's not so aggressive teaching in Wales

6th April 2007 at 01:00
TEACHERS IN Wales face considerably less physical aggression from pupils than in England, a new survey by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers reveals.

But, although they were less likely to be attacked, almost half of those questioned said they knew a colleague who had left the profession because of badly behaved pupils, just slightly down on colleagues over the border.

Although all of the teachers surveyed reported having to deal with disruptive behaviour on a daily basis, just 13 per cent said they had been confronted with violence.

This compares with a huge 34 per cent of English teachers who took part in the survey of ATL members last month.

But while Dr Philip Dixon, ATL's director, said the Welsh results were better, worrying trends in England could well be a warning of things to come.

"It seems a recent growth of gun and knife culture in some English inner cities has contributed to the high percentages of teachers reporting physical aggression," he said. "While the figures are smaller in Wales, we should not be complacent."

Alarmingly, 14 per cent of teachers from Wales who took part in the survey claimed persistent disruptions during lessons had caused them mental health problems. Eighty-one per cent of teachers who responded UK-wide believed lack of parental guidance was behind pupil behavioural problems.

However, all of Wales members were aware of bad behaviour policies, scoring higher than England, Scotland and northern Ireland. The highest reported instances of bad behaviour by Wales's teachers was low-level disruption (94 per cent), disrespect (75 per cent) and verbal insults (56 per cent).

* Pupils who believe they were unfairly excluded from a school in Wales now have access to advice via a guide on how to make a complaint and win at appeal. Excluded pupils are also advised to fight on if they can find fault with their school for not dealing with their problems early enough. The bilingual guide was published last week by the Advisory Centre for Education, a parent-led charity.

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