Boris Johnson vows to give schools ‘powers they need to deal with bad behaviour’

Prime minister Boris Johnson has pledged today to give schools the “powers they need to deal with bad behaviour and bullying”.

In a statement released on A-level results days, Johnson also said the government will “do all we can” to improve funding.

Schools are still waiting to hear about the full details of Johnson’s pledge to up school funding by £4.6 billion per year by 2022.

But the comments on targeting behaviour offer an early glimpse into Johnson’s priority for schools heading in to a potential general election later this year.

There were no further details provided about Johnson’s pledge. But improving behaviour in schools seems to be a vote winner.

A study released by pollsters YouGov yesterday found a desire for school discipline to be “stricter” was a popular opinion amongst both right- and left-wing voters.

However it’s also a controversial issue among the education community. Advocates for stricter discipline argue it keeps pupils and teachers safe as well as boosting educational standards in schools, but critics say some stricter behaviour policies can sideline the most vulnerable pupils.

Although still small numbers, the rate of pupil exclusions has risen previously – with the latest data showing suspensions (fixed-term exclusions) are now on the rise.

Former education secretary Damian Hinds announced last year plans for the first substantive review of government behaviour guidance in over three years, alongside a £10 million pot to train teachers how to deal with unruly pupils.

The government’s behaviour tsar Tom Bennett will oversee a “behaviour network” to support 500 schools.

Johnson said today: “I congratulate everyone receiving their A level results today.

“The new government will do all we can to improve funding for education and to give schools the powers they need to deal with bad behaviour and bullying so that pupils can learn.”

The new prime minister also called for “much more attention” on providing “great apprenticeships” for all pupils that don’t go to university.

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. After SEN funding being cut by 50 percent 3 years ago by the Conservative government now, they will be penalizing families who were directly affected by those cuts ( The biggest behavior issues are among students with Special Educational Needs who have some form of developmental delay according to many developmental specialists such as professor Ross Greene ) So now the most variable in our society will be penalized for the government’s failure to support them accurately and provide Early Intervention Services so they can more easily get access to education … Well done Boris!

  2. A Brown

    I don’t see how ‘strict behaviour policies’ fit with the legal duty to make reasonable adjustments for those with disabilities. So, in practice, being strict is an excellent way to manage out the pesky, expensive, non-standard children without anyone calling you discriminatory.

  3. Indiscipline in schools results from poor relationships and an anti-educational culture. In my school that served a a poor inner urban community of a northern town we replaced a former punishment-driven regime and in the process achieved a co-operative learning culture and no exclusions, fixed term or permanent, that was recognised as outstanding in successive OfSTED inspections. How it was done is explained here.

    This is a long read about an approach that is counter-intuitive to anyone that has not experienced it, which is very depressing as those that have are becoming a lost minority of teachers and former pupils that now seek in vain for the same quality for their own children.