Yesterday, Newsround reported that England’s Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, wants to tackle “out-of-control behaviour” in schools and says lockdown has impacted on children’s “discipline and order”.
Mr. Williamson is in charge of schools and the government’s education policies in England and runs the Deparment for Education.
The department is planning to set up a new “behaviour hub” programme to help children with behaviour, operating in time for the summer term. The government says they will provide the scheme with £10 million to get set up and help schools try ideas.
Mr Williamson also wants to ban mobile phones in schools and believes they distract students from “exercise and good old-fashioned play” and also contribute to cyber bullying and the inappropriate use of social media.
But not everyone agrees with his comments.
The National Education Union (NEU), the group that represents teachers and schools, told Newsround that teachers do understand the importance of reminding children about good behaviour.
But they believe the links between mental health and a high-pressure curriculum are the biggest factors when it comes to behaviour, and that the government should address these issues first.
Here’s what some of you had to say about Gavin Williamson’s comments
Your responses to the Education Secretary
Sincerely_Me29 said: “Almost on a daily basis me and my friends talk about the pressure of school and how it negatively impacts our mental health. I have started GCSE subjects this year and there is so, so much homework and coursework. The focus should primarily be on the wellbeing of the students – not their exam results. “Bad behaviour” is usually just a manifestation of poor mental health. The government should do more to support students, rather than instilling fear of failure and making learning a stressful competition.”
IZzy, who is in year 7, responded by saying: “It has been a really tough year for everyone and finally adults are realising it has negatively impacted children as well. Misbehaving is because of poor mental health so instead of blaming kids for behaving badly they should try and improve the mental health and support they give the students.”
IZzy also added: “we haven’t really had much time to bond and connect cos of COVID so I don’t know what my class usually behave like but they have been pretty badly behaved! I think they’re just trying to have as much fun as possible because no one is really sure whether school will be open or shut.”
Pizzame said: “When we first went back to school, my class (primary 6/7. Im in P6) was very chatty and noisy. None of us could pay attention. But after a couple of days we settled down. It’s normal now. I also think the government should pay more attention to mental health affecting younger kids and ones with disabilities. Some Kids bring their phones to school, but it has to be switched off and in your bag, at all times.”
sleepyqueen21 told Newsround: “I understand what Mr Williamson is trying to say. He wants schools to have more discipline with the children. The trouble is, the school already knows to discipline children. It’s not the teacher’s problem. It’s the children’s. Does anyone agree?”
pandalolly told Newsround: “I do sort of understand with everyone’s behaviour as most of children have been cooped up inside and not been able to see their friends. And everyone needs their phones in secondary school.”
LilacSwimmerPanda said: “We’re not allowed out of our seats at the moment! Besides, barely anyone wants to play anymore, so it feels more like you’re forced to go on your phone.”
U19480418 also spoke to Newsround about the plans to ban mobile phones: “I don’t think the phone ban will help because in my school if you have it out during school hours on purpose you get an detention most of the time. We need our phones to walk to school in case something bad happens. Personally I don’t think this will help anything at all.”
U19480418 also commented on behaviour in their school, saying “it has got so much worse and now it’s sooo loud in the classroom”.
PurpleMelon said: “for a lot of people their phones and online stuff is their safe space and can feel better, but i understand that cyber bullying can form from this. just telling people off for their bad behaviour forming from a lack of socialisation or having bad mental health/ wellbeing from online school doesn’t really help, but everyone’s been affected in many ways and not everyone whose mental health has been affected/is affected will show signs of ‘bad behaviour’.”
Sylverstone said: “The phone bans won’t help. In my school you have to give them in to the school office where they keep your phone safe until the end of the day. I do think that behaviour has got worse after lockdown, but its not ALL because of phones.”
FluffySlothFan said: “I think that behaviour is better after lockdown but I am not sure why. People used to get their phones out in the toilets but now they don’t.”
HettyFeatherFan03 said: “Everyone is bored of the coronavirus now. However, I haven’t noticed any considerable behaviour changes in my school.”
Do you have a response for Mr. Williamson? Let us know in the comments below.
Published at Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:58:00 +0000