Poor behaviour from pupils is blighting the UK's secondary schools, Ofsted's chief inspector has warned - with almost half a million children sharing lessons with misbehaving classmates.
Sir Michael Wilshaw said too many secondaries were dealing with a "hubbub" of gossip, shouting out, using their phones and other disruptions which often made teaching almost impossible.
He found that of those schools inspected in the 2013/14 academic year, there was a seven per cent drop in the number where pupil behaviour was classed as 'good' or 'outstanding'.
This is unacceptable... Inspectors found far too many instances of pupils gossiping, calling out without permission, using their mobiles, being slow to start work or follow instructions, or failing to bring the right books or equipment to class.
While these are minor infractions in themselves, cumulatively they create a hubbub of interference that makes teaching and learning difficult and sometimes impossible.
His latest report adds that schools were often failing to challenge their brightest pupils, with a "worrying lack of scholarship" and teachers' expectations "too low" to match their students' abilities.
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