What can schools do about disruptive classes?(9 Posts)
DS in Y7 so this secondary school lark is new to me and I may well be being PFB.
DS's school doesn't set apart from maths, so he spends most lessons with the same class. DS complains that the majority of the class are loud and disruptive and there are 2 or 3 children that are "always" swearing at the teachers. DS is far from being an angel and in fact quite likes to chat himself, so if he is complaining, my gut feeling is that it must be bad. He also has made no friends in the class although he does have a friend from primary school with him. He cites the reason as "they are all too loud and annoying". Reading between the lines I think some teachers are better at managing the class than others with English being particularly bad and DS saying it's impossible to hear the teacher half the time (and DS hates English so again it must be bad for him to comment).
Question is what (if anything) can I do? What should I be expecting the school to do? For the few lesson when DS is in different groupings he says it is much better so I think it's just a question of his class has ended up with more than it's fair share of disruptive children. I'm a little (understatement) worried as unless the school institutes a class shuffle (not normal policy) he will be stuck in this class for the next 5 years ...
What OFSTED rating is the school, and how recently have they been inspected?
I am surprised that new year 7s still in their first half term would be behaving this way, particularly swearing at the teachers. That is appalling. I've only ever been sworn at in school (ex-teacher here!) by a couple of Year 10 or 11 students with significant behavioural issues, and it has always been dealt with effectively. Generalised swearing from Year 7s is (or should be) very unusual.
I don't know what you can do about it in the short term as it's more likely to be a school wide issue. I would certainly speak to the head of year 7 and describe your concerns. Do you have a parents evening soon where you could also raise the issue?
Blimey that's pretty shocking you know. My son's yr7 in a big inner city comp and the most disruption they get is quiet talking. Most schools these days have a rigorous/ transparent discipline system so everyone knows what the sanctions are. In DS's school there are automatic penalties for any disruption in class, so it starts at a 15 minute same day detention, then if they are still disruptive, they're sent out or to the Head of Year. It escalates from there. What you described just wouldn't be tolerated at his school.
The situation can be quite bad if a teacher who is weak at controlling the class meet a group of disruptive children. I think you should talk to the head of year to see what can be done to improve this.
The school is rated "Good" and was inspected last year.
I know lots of people who have children at the school and I don't think the behaviour DS is seeing is widespread at all - most parents have told me they are really impressed by how strict the standards are!! It just seems to be that there is a collection of children in DS's class that are a bit of a nightmare and they are egging each other on. DS reports that for the subjects where he is with different groups of children there is no issue at all!
DS has now told me that one of the swearing children was suspended for a day last week (he's not sure for what). Which whilst shocking for Y7 I guess shows that the school is clamping down. We have a meeting with DS's personal tutor just after half term so I was going to raise this - just not sure what I should be asking for! (His tutor doesn't teach DS's class so won't have first hand experience).
They do have a behaviour system where you get points leading up to sanctions (not exactly sure how it works). Maybe not enforced rigorously enough?
In the meeting with the tutor, I would just be clear about how much you feel it is disrupting your DS's learning, and ask them what they can/will do to improve the situation. You should be able to find a copy of the behaviour policy on the school website or in the bumph you were given in a starter pack - if not, then ask for a copy in the meeting. Mention that English is a specific concern, and describe the behaviour that's preventing your DS from learning.
It's very possible that there might be some form changes once the school knows the children a little better.
Definitely complain. If other parents complain too, then something might happen such as the more disruptive kids being dispersed into other tutor groups.
I remember covering a geography lesson once, with one of my top set maths kids in it. The nice kids in the class informed me that they were the known as the worst tutor group in the school. My top set kid said that he loved maths because it gave him a break from his awful group, and that they learned nothing. He was really looking forward to taking his options and finally getting away from them for good. He had had three years of being sat in a room with them for most of the day. I felt really sorry for him.
I would definitely complain first to the class teacher, then the head of year, then the senior leadership team, then the board of governors, if nothing improves. And find out what the behaviour policy is and make sure the school is sticking to it.
If this is they way they have been behaving at the start of term, god knows what it will get like if it's allowed to continue.
DD had terrible issues in Yr 8 with disruption in her class, the head of year called it 'low level' but it was constant, blatant rude behaviour to teachers, truancy, shouting in lessons, walking out of lessons, mobiles on in class, refusing to obey school uniform rules etc, it wasn't stamped on early enough and it just got worse and worse. We are a small market town with an affluent catchment area - the main cuplrits were girls who seemed to have a sense of entitlement & just didn't see why they had to behave.
I am a supply teacher (London) so see lots of schools, and often see the worst of the behaviour.
Where are you in the country, OP?
It is very unusual to see this type of behaviour in Y7 - even in the worst schools. At this point they are still finding their feet and being very small in a school full of bigger people.
Even the teachers with the worst behaviour management skills can manage Y7s!
Definitely speak to the tutor. This is your child's education experience and they only realistically have one shot at it.
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