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Ofsted: Most children want 'order in the classroom'

More must be done to curb poor discipline in schools, as the majority of pupils want "order in the classroom", the head of Ofsted told Good Morning Britain.

Sir Michael Wilshaw explained: "They don't want to odd individual - the Jack the lad and the Sally showoff if you like - to ruin their education."

Ofsted 'adding note of fear and uncertainty' in schools

The education watchdog is "adding a note of fear and uncertainty" in schools by changing what they define as good behaviour and failing to be clear about what they expect.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), said there was no evidence of a discipline crisis in schools.

Ofsted is contradicting itself. Reports from its routine inspections say behaviour is good or outstanding in 83% of all schools. That's not yet perfect but it shows a massive improvement.

What is the explanation for these contradictions? Firstly, Ofsted have changed the definition of behaviour. It would help if they had been clear about that and given the system time to clear the new hurdles. It is not 'failure' when you are asking more of people.

We also feel that Ofsted are intentionally adding a note of fear and uncertainty across the education system, seeking to contradict the Department's attempts to rebuild the shattered confidence of teachers and leaders.

Ofsted is appearing to set education policy rather than inspect the implementation of policy - and the Department should be wary of ceding such powers to unelected officials.

– Russell Hobby

Idle chatter 'most common form' of poor discipline

Children interrupting their learning because they are talking to a friend is the most common form of poor discipline,

Idle chatter interrupted almost every lesson, according to some of the teachers interviewed by the education watchdog.

Their report found:

  • Some 69% of teachers and almost half of parents (46%) said children chatting about a subject not related to their work was a problem.
  • Another 38% said disturbing other children was a problem in class.
  • Calling out (35%), not getting on with work (31%), and fidgeting or fiddling with equipment (23%), were a top problem.
  • Some 19% of teachers said pupils not having the correct equipment was a frequent occurrence.
  • Purposely making noise to gain attention was pointed to by another 19% of teachers.
  • While 14% said answering back or questioning instructions was a problem, with other teachers citing use or mobile devices (11%) and swinging on chairs (11%) as a sign of poor discipline.

Pupils lose an hour 'because of bad behaviour'

School children are losing an hour of their learning time every day because of bad behaviour, a scathing report from the schools watchdog has revealed.

The behaviour is more pronounced in secondary schools, Ofsted said. Credit: PA

Chatting, calling out, swinging on chairs, passing notes and using mobile phones are "very common" in English schools, Ofsted found.

When added up across the academic year, pupils will lose 38 days of teaching each year to "low level" bad behaviour, the watchdog said.

The report also hit out at head-teachers, as too many heads, particularly in secondary schools, "underestimate the prevalence and negative impact of low-level disruptive behaviour".

In the last year schools serving almost 450,000 pupils have been judged below good for behaviour.

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Tomlinson new Birmingham Education Commissioner

A former chief inspector of schools has been charged with steering improvements to Birmingham's education system following the alleged "Trojan Horse" plot.

Sir Mike Tomlinson is the former chief inspector of schools Credit: PA

Sir Mike Tomlinson is to become education commissioner with responsibility for improving standards in the city's classrooms, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said.

His appointment is a direct result of the fallout from the anonymous "Trojan Horse" letter, which alleged an extremist Muslim plot to seize control of several Birmingham schools was under way.

A damning report into those claims led by former anti-terror chief Peter Clarke and published in July, found "clear evidence" of a group of like-minded individuals working to support "extremist views" in classrooms.

That report, commissioned by Ms Morgan's predecessor Michael Gove, concluded there had been "co-ordinated, deliberate and sustained action, carried out by a number of associated individuals, to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos into a few schools in Birmingham".

However, it did not find any evidence of "terrorism, radicalisation or violent extremism in the schools of concern in Birmingham".

The appointment of experienced educationalist and former teacher Sir Mike, who was chief inspector from 2000 to 2002 and later chair of the Hackney Learning Trust where he helped improve the London borough's education standards, has been welcomed by Birmingham City Council.

Readers reflect on 'everyday' maths GCSE proposal

Readers have been sharing their thoughts on a proposal to introduce an additional GCSE in 'everyday' maths to help raise numeracy levels.

Here is a selection of comments left on the ITV News Facebook page:

Children should be given a proper and thorough grounding in the basics of maths and numeracy when in primary school. Bring back the weekly mental arithmetic and reading tests that my generation had up until the 1960's!

– Susan

Everything I studied for GCSE Maths disappeared from my memory the minute I left the exam room because the vast majority of it had no place in everyday life. I am the first to admit I am horrific when it comes to maths!

– Sarah

Too many changes [are] happening at the moment ... It's just too much for schools to handle at the moment. I suggest coming back to the idea once they have tested the new changes.

– Ash

Lack of everyday maths skills a 'massive challenge'

National Numeracy - a charity focusing on adults and children with low levels of numeracy - has described the lack of everyday maths skills as a "massive challenge" for the UK.

Its research has found that:

  • Around half of adults have the everyday maths skills expected of primary school children
  • Three-quarters of adults cannot show the numeracy levels needed to get a decent GCSE grade
  • Poor numeracy costs the UK economy around £20 billion a year

Charity calls for additional GCSE in everyday maths

A national charity has called for an additional GCSE in "core maths" to be introduced to teach pupils how to use numeracy to solve everyday problems.

National Numeracy has called for an Credit: PA wire

National Numeracy said it would "expect most children to take both GCSEs and all to take at least the new numeracy (or core maths) GCSE".

"It would be recognised by students, schools, employers and further and higher education as different from, but no less valuable than, GCSE maths," the charity added.

The idea is part of a seven-point plan unveiled by the charity, which also calls for a new measure of numeracy skills at age 14, which could then be used as a "benchmark" of the level of numeracy they will need for their future studies.

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