Page last updated at 10:00 GMT, Monday, 23 November 2009

Teachers say discipline in Scottish schools 'improving'


The study looked at the experiences of more than 3,500 teachers

The vast majority of Scottish school teachers believe their pupils are well behaved, a study has suggested.

About 90% of teachers surveyed by Edinburgh University researchers said all or most of their pupils were generally well behaved.

And most teachers said they were confident serious indiscipline did not have a major impact on their school.

The researchers said there had been "positive" changes since the last survey three years ago.

The Behaviour in Scottish Schools Research said the most common behaviour issue was "low level" indiscipline, such as pupils running in corridors or talking out of turn in class.

Any cuts to education funding would only put at risk all the progress made to date
Ronnie Smith

Physical violence by pupils on teachers was very rare, the report said, but was more common between pupils.

The Scottish government said the survey of more than 3,500 teachers was the most accurate and comprehensive picture of pupil behaviour ever produced.

Schools Minister Keith Brown said: "Across Scotland, schools and local authorities are working hard to improve the behaviour of pupils and this research highlights the many effective approaches taken to promote positive behaviour."

Generic school bullying
Only a small minority of pupils cause major disruption, the study said

The study was welcomed by Ronnie Smith, of teachers' union Educational Institute of Scotland.

He said the improvement in discipline identified in the report was partly a result of the high priority given to tackling the issue by a succession of ministers.

"Therefore, it is essential that there is no let-up in the priority given, or the resources invested, in improving school discipline," Mr Smith added.

"Any cuts to education funding would only put at risk all the progress made to date."

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