1989 - Discipline in Schools: Report of the Committee of Enquiry chaired by Lord Elton

Discipline in Schools: Report of the Committee of Enquiry chaired by Lord Elton

This report, from 1989, remains a very influential document in the field of pupil behaviour. Its value, and continued currency, lies not only in the fact that it addresses behaviour in schools from an 'ecosystemic' perspective (by considering the issue from the perspective of schools and teachers, pupils and their parents and from the standpoint of other agencies involved) but also because its findings are evidence-based (a stratified random sample of about 4400 teachers - with a very high response rate for a questionnaire). The document remains a benchmark in the field and is well-worth revisiting given the continued relevance of its recommendations.

With regard to Behaviour4Learning, there is significant emphasis on the importance of pupil motivation, recognition of differentials in learning styles and of the centrality of effective curriculum practice. Each of these themes, and an overarching one relating to 'relationships' underpins much of what Elton has to say. Finally, it should be noted that the evidence obtained in support of Elton's findings indicate that teachers indicate that "attacks (by pupils on teachers) are rare in schools in England and Wales" (p.11). Such an informed comment ought to be borne in mind by both trainees and their tutors/mentors in the light of sensationalist reports in the media (acknowledged as such by Elton). The Report does not minimise the challenge of physical violence in school, but sensibly highlights that teachers see 'low-level disruption' as a more fundamental concern.



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Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Middle, Primary, Secondary

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Historical Documents

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