Last month The TES revealed that prison officers are being sought by recruitment agency Principal Resourcing to deal with ‘behaviour issues and disruptions’ in Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and Wakefield.
The image this conjures up is rather unfortunate, and one can’t help but wonder what some prison officers would do without the customary tools of the trade, such as lockable cells, handcuffs, tasers and solitary confinement. As Mary Bousted, joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, says in the TES story: ‘…the set of skills you learn as a prison officer are not necessarily transferrable to schools.’ Moreover, there is an unspoken implication that these young people are unruly and incorrigible, incapable of being helped and merely prison fodder on a predetermined pathway to incarceration.
On the other hand, some prison officers could carry out the behaviour support role in schools with aplomb. Recent research looking at prison education found that:
‘Most prison educators felt that, in addition to achievement, it was important to be able to develop the learning skills and self-image of those they worked with. As one said: ‘I would like learners to gain self-confidence and work on release and be able to network … Teaching has to reach the whole person’.
Our whole school Knowledge Exchange programme: Supporting Wellbeing, Emotional Resilience and Learning (SWERL), takes (more…)
A favourable classroom climate – essentially one in which there is a well-ordered and calm environment – is likely to be conducive to learning and therefore important for pupil progress. Conversely, disruption in the classroom will hamper student learning as well as being the bane of teachers’ working lives. In England official statements and publications from the Department for Education (DfE) have maintained that the extent of any misbehaviour is minimal. Yet other evidence points to substantial problems with classroom disruption and it has even been suggested that pupils in England are ‘among the worst behaved in the world’. What, then, is the real picture? Our research, recently published in the British Educational Research Journal (Jenkins and Ueno, 2017) used international data from a range of sources, principally the 2013 round of the Teaching and
A few mischievous children acting out in a classroom and disrupting an entire lesson is a common scenario that teachers deal with. However, trouble-making children who hit out and misbehave are not only disruptive to teachers and classrooms, they are also likely to get lower grades.
In recent research, my colleagues and I examined the links between the development of problem behaviour in 5,400 children between the ages of eight and 11 from 138 primary schools in England. The children were in Years 4, 5 and 6 – the last three years of primary school and what’s called Key Stage 2. We found that those who developed disruptive behaviour in these three “middle childhood” years did worse in the tests, also known as SATs, at the end of Year 6.
The problem behaviours we looked at in our study were when children got angry, hit out, broke things, hurt people or lost their (more…)