December 10, 2014

Ofsted Annual Report: Low-level disruption is too common

Ofsted attributes stall in secondarty school performance to several factors. One of which is low level classroom disruption. Below is an extract from the report. 

The last Ofsted report emphasised the importance of school culture and good behaviour as a prerequisite for raising standards. As a result, guidance was tightened in January 2014 to ensure that inspectors looked more closely at this issue.

In the secondary schools inspected in 2013/14, there was a seven percentage point fall in the proportion of schools where behaviour and safety were judged good or outstanding compared with inspections conducted in 2012/13.This means that over 400,000 pupils attend a secondary school where behaviour is poor, preventing pupils from learning and teachers from teaching.  Inspectors found far too many instances of pupils gossiping, calling out without permission, using their mobiles, being slow to start work or follow instructions, or failing to bring the right books or equipment to class.

While these are minor infractions in themselves, cumulatively they create a hubbub of interference that makes teaching and learning difficult and sometimes impossible. In our recent report ‘Below the radar’, we discovered that pupils in England are potentially losing up to an hour of learning each day because of low-level disruption in the classroom. This is the equivalent of 38 days of teaching lost a year.Too many secondary schools are failing to deal with poor behaviour in a consistent manner. This is because leaders have not communicated their behaviour policies well enough to the school community and have not adopted a high enough profile in and around the school. Inspectors also commented that, in schools where behaviour is a concern, staff often blur the boundaries between friendliness and familiarity in their interaction with pupils.When Ofsted asked teachers for their views, almost two fifths of those polled said pupil chatter disrupted learning in almost every class. Only a third reported that the headteacher provided them with sufficient support in managing poor behaviour.

Read the Ofsted Annual Report 2014

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