Parents happier with pupil behaviour

3rd June 2005 at 01:00
While politicians and teacher unions moan about pupils' bad behaviour, parents are becoming increasingly upbeat about discipline in schools.

A survey of more than 1,000 parents shows that the proportion who believe behaviour is poor in their child's school has halved over the past three years.

Only 10 per cent of parents, and just 6 per cent of teachers, now believe discipline is bad in schools.

The improvement in attitudes is one of several discoveries in statistics published by the Department for Education and Skills which should gladden the hearts of ministers.

Fewer teachers are going off sick, the outlook on recruitment is better and more parents are happier with the choice of their children's schools.

Even the proportion who believe teaching is less well-respected than other professions has fallen to barely a half in November 2004 from more than three-quarters in February 2002.

But the survey by an independent market research company, which also questioned more than 1,000 heads and 1,000 teachers, shows bugbears over bureaucracy and workload remain and that concerns over funding are getting worse.

The change in the view of headteachers over funding was particularly striking. In early 2002 the proportion saying funding was getting better was around 44 per cent while 24 per cent said it was getting worse. By the end of 2004 the figures had reversed.

The statistics show that the proportion who think that teacher recruitment is worsening has fallen from a majority to around a third.

They come as another survey reveals that teaching is now one of the most sought-after careers for university students.

The poll of 7,500 students from 90 universities shows that 16 per cent want to go into teaching when they graduate. It was the third most desired profession with only careers in management and marketingadvertising ranked higher.

In the past, teaching has only been rated as high as seventh in the annual Hobsons Graduate Recruitment Review.

New-found enthusiasm for the profession follows the publication of figures by the Teacher Training Agency earlier this year showing that the number of graduates training to teach has reached a 25-year high.

Stakeholder tracking study 2004 is at www.dfes.gov.uk

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