Schools are scoring less highly on behaviour relative to other factors since Ofsted introduced tougher inspection guidance in January, according to a new report.
The findings came in the inspectorate’s Below the radar: low-level disruption in the country’s classrooms report – which claims that the equivalent of up to 38 days of teaching was lost per year because of low-level disruption in the classroom.
The report said that where previously more than a fifth of schools – 22 per cent – with an overall effectiveness rating of ‘good’ received an ‘outstanding’ rating for behaviour, this had dropped to 15 per cent following the change in guidance.
Schools rated ‘requires improvement’ and ‘inadequate’ were also less likely to receive a behaviour rating equal or above their overall inspection score.
A survey of teachers carried out by the inspectorate found that only around three in ten secondary teachers felt supported by their headteacher in managing poor behaviour.
“Many teachers indicated that senior leaders were not visible or assertive enough in enforcing discipline, school rules or establishing the right ethos,” the report said.
This came despite a survey parents showing that around two-thirds of parents were keen that school leaders ensured that all staff applied a behaviour policy.
The report also provided more detail of the unannounced behaviour inspections which Ofsted has been carrying out.
The inspectorate carried out 28 of these inspections between January and July 2014, targeting schools where be behaviour had been judged to be less than ‘good’ previously, but where the schools had good leadership so “were likely to have sufficient capacity to tackle the identified areas for improvement”
In almost all of the schools, it visited, inspectors still judged behaviour to require improvement, the report said.
Commenting on the findings, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw (pictured) said: “Children need to know the rules and teachers need to know they will be supported in enforcing them.
“That’s why Ofsted has tightened the guidance on behaviour for inspection and increased the number of unannounced inspections undertaken as a result of concerns. In the last year schools serving almost 450,000 pupils have been judged less than good for behaviour. That is far too many.”
Russell Hobby, general secretary of NAHT said: “Ofsted is contradicting itself. Reports from its routine inspections say behaviour is good or outstanding in 83 per cent of all schools. That’s not yet perfect but it shows a massive improvement.”
Mr Hobby said that the “contradictions” arose in part because Ofsted had changed what it was asking for on 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,” he said.
Mr Hobby also said that the report “appears to be another way for Ofsted to justify no notice inspections”.