2nd October 2012

Commenting on today’s publication of the Scottish Government Report Behaviour in Scottish Schools 2012, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said:

"This report highlights the continuing problem of persistent, low-level indiscipline in our schools. This unacceptable behaviour by a small number of pupils continues to blight the working lives of teachers, and damage the educational experience for the vast majority of pupils who are well behaved and eager to learn.

"Verbal abuse of teachers in the classroom, together with other types of unacceptable behaviour such as misuse of mobile phones in school or a refusal to follow instructions, are persistent problems that take up far too much of a teacher’s time during the course of the school week.”

Mr Flanagan noted the fact that serious disruption, such as violence against teachers, continues to be rare in Scotland’s classrooms – "Contrary to what some tabloid journalists would have us believe, incidents of serious disruption or violence in schools remain extremely rare and our classrooms continue to be safe places to work and study.

"While every incident of violence is extremely worrying and has a very serious impact on those affected, it is important also to keep the true scale of the problem in perspective.

"Thankfully, serious disruption and violence continue to be a much less common problem than persistent low-level disruption such as talking out of turn or texting in class.”

Mr Flanagan added, "It is important that we continue to work to address the issue of pupil indiscipline throughout Scotland, by investing appropriate resources into our schools to support teachers and to bring down class sizes to a manageable level.”