|www.corpun.com : Archive : 2004 : UK Schools Jul 2004|
School CP - July 2004
Western Mail, Cardiff, 28 July 2004
Task of imposing discipline 'now more difficult'
By Jenny Rees
A TEACHERS' leader has protested against declining standards of behaviour since the end of corporal punishment.
Stressing that "it does everyone some good to look back", Barry Matthews, chairman of the Professional Association of Teachers said today's children had too much freedom, which made it difficult to teach them discipline.
Changing laws and the banning of corporal punishment had made the task of imposing discipline more difficult for both teachers and parents, Mr Matthews indicated at PAT's annual conference in Bournemouth.
"As a child, I knew that there were certain actions that could reap unfavourable rewards.
"I did not enjoy having the cane - having the cane in those days was normal but we have moved on and the cane is now an historical artefact - or having to stay in after school any more than the next person.
"But I knew that if I stepped out of line I could be subjected to some kind of punishment."
Teachers now faced having their authority questioned by both pupils and their parents, Mr Matthews went on.
"This has resulted in the need to develop deeply innovative ways to establish authority without violating the law, which has put an additional strain on the teacher.
"I had many discussions with teachers and parents who find it difficult to impose discipline on a child because they are concerned with breaking the law and finding themselves in trouble for applying disciplinary action to a child that steps out of line.
"If the local bobby, to use the vernacular of my youth, caught me doing something wrong whilst out playing, I would most likely have got a clip round the ear," he said.
"I would not have considered it sensible to run home and tell my parents - my reward for being honest might have been that I would have got another clip round the ear."
Gethin Lewis, secretary of NUT Cymru said that society had become more violent and teachers' number one complaint was the standard of behaviour.
"The NUT would not wish to go back to corporal punishment but people have got to realise that the disruptive child in a classroom will affect the education of every pupil in that classroom.
"Some children are too naughty and disruptive to be taught in mainstream education and have to be excluded. But once that decision has been made by the headteacher and governors, it must be supported. It is wrong for independent appeal panels to overturn that professional judgement.
"There is still not enough in place to stop aggression from spilling over into the classroom and we need trained educational psychologists to support children."
Geraint Davies, secretary of NASUWT Cymru said he was "firmly of the opinion that parents are not doing as much as they should be doing in terms of disciplining and instilling discipline in their own children.
"Children know how far they can push the boundaries because they know schools do not have the sanctions to discipline them appropriately."
Bristol Evening Post, 30 July 2004
Spare the rod, spoil the child, and what then?
The words could have come out of the mouth of any one of the
thousands of parents whose children go off the rails. "My
son is no angel," says the mother of the Keynsham schoolboy
who has become one of the youngest children in Britain to be the
subject of an Anti-Social Behaviour Order. "But his
behaviour is no worse than any other 10-year-old."
Magistrates disagreed after hearing that this "good
kid" was part of a gang which terrorised local people. The
child stood accused of vandalism, making threats, theft and
THE ARCHIVE index
www.corpun.com Main menu page
Copyright © Colin Farrell 2004
Page created: September 2004