Some British state (government funded) schools are deliberately under-recording the instances of bad behaviour by students and even removing truculent pupils during government inspections, all to gain good ratings.
The revelation has been made by the government’s ‘classroom Tsar’ Tom Bennett, appointed by the Department for Education to troubleshoot the quality of teacher training, and improve pupil behaviour, reports The Guardian. Speaking out on the problem of schools ‘gaming’ government league tables to inflate their position, Bennett said: “When Ofsted [Office for Standards in Education] come calling, loads and loads of schools hoover up the naughtiest kids before inspections.
“From my own experience I’ve known schools that have had very patchy behaviour but they’ve had good ratings simply because the inspectors have only seen certain lessons or certain situations, which are often quite artificial”.
Exacerbating the problem is a propensity for some schools to under-report classroom incidents such as bullying or violence towards teachers, with personal pride of staff keen to hide a lack of control in the classroom from colleagues, and figure massaging by senior staff keen to present the school in a good light playing contributing roles. Remarking on this trend, Bennett said::
“If a school is very bad at recording bad behaviour then it will look pristine. Whereas the opposite might be true”.
“A lot of schools don’t record as much bad behaviour as they should, because they know it’s not going to make them look good. I hate to say it but they do. Some teachers are afraid to even record bad behaviour, because they don’t want to look bad”.
Considering the already remarkable levels of violence reported in British classrooms , with as many as 900 pupils suspended a day for violence, the suggestion that schools deliberately under-report to inflate their own league table rankings will cause concern over an un-witnessed violence epidemic among Britain’s young.