Key findings
Supporting members to tackle pupil indiscipline
Actions for teachers facing pupil indiscipline
Watch coverage of the Behaviour Report on 5 News

Behaviour in Schools Report (Wales)

The NASUWT Behaviour in Schools Report (right/below) is an in-depth study of more than 6,500 teachers and leaders, with 373 contributions from teachers and leaders from Wales.

The report was developed in response to data gathered from the union’s Big Question survey, alongside statistics taken from casework records, which show growing concern over violent and abusive pupil behaviour in schools.

The report explores:

  • the evidence gathered through our research;

  • the voices of teachers and their lived experiences; and

  • a set of recommendations across the education system, including actions for us as a union and the expectations we will place on schools, local authorities and governments.

Key findings (Wales)

Some of the key findings include, in the last 12 months:

  • 38% of respondents have experienced physical abuse or violence from pupils in the last 12 months;

  • 95% report verbal abuse or violence from pupils;

  • backchat and rudeness were the most common behaviours, reported by 98% of respondents;

  • 91% were sworn at by pupils.

With regard to physical violence, 12% of teachers were hit or punched, 9% were kicked and 43% were shoved or barged, 4% were spat at, while 2% have been headbutted.

Specific experiences include teachers having chairs and other items thrown at them, as well as a teacher being subjected to misogynistic comments and intimidation.

Half (49%) strongly agree or agree that they are made to feel to blame if they have an issue with poor pupil behaviour.

Fifty-six per cent also said that the culture in their school/college is that poor pupil behaviour is part of the job and they should expect to receive abuse/violence from pupils.

A similar percentage (62%) do not feel supported by their school or college’s approach to dealing with poor pupil behaviour.

Just over one in ten (11%) of respondents feel their setting’s approach to pupil behaviour management empowers them as a teacher or leader.

Three-quarters (76%) of respondents do not feel they have the resources, support and knowledge to meet the behavioural needs of all the pupils they teach.

When asked about the number of pupils for whom respondents do not feel they receive adequate support to teach because of their behavioural needs, more than four in five (83%) feel this has increased in the last year.

Actions by NASUWT Cymru

The NASUWT has met with Jeremy Miles, Wales Education Minister, and Welsh Government officials to discuss the issue of poor behaviour in schools in Wales.

The Welsh Government accepts that there is a problem, but there has been little evidence to date (October 2023) of any proactive moves towards dealing with the problem.

We are actively supporting members in schools where behaviour has broken down to such an extent that members are demanding action. We have balloted and taken industrial action in these schools.

Supporting members to tackle pupil indiscipline

We will represent the interests of teachers and school leaders robustly where school practices fall short of the standards of behaviour that teachers can reasonably expect.

If you have a concern about the way in which behaviour is being managed in your school, you should seek advice and support from the NASUWT immediately.

We also have a full range of online resources to support our members:

Actions for teachers facing pupil indiscipline

What to do if you are verbally abused and threatened:

What to do if you are abused on social media:

The NASUWT has published updated guidance on dealing with the trauma of online abuse as a teacher, encompassing a detailed overview of the actions you should take if you are subjected to online abuse by pupils or students.

Behaviour Report on 5 News


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