The Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, says he wants to tackle “out-of-control behaviour” in schools.
He says lockdown has impacted on children’s “discipline and order” and wants schools to remind children “how to behave well”.
But the National Education Union, the group that represents teachers and schools, disagrees with Mr Williamson’s comments.
They 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.
What do you think about Mr Williamson’s comments? Do you think they’re fair? Let us know in the comments below.What else do we know?
The Department for Education is going to announce details of a £10 million “behaviour hub” programme to help children, which it says will be operating in time for the summer term.
The department have identified 22 “lead schools” with strong reputations for good behaviour and discipline to advise other schools struggling in those areas.
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.
He added: “Maintaining good discipline is an absolute must in any classroom and is one of our key priorities. Out-of-control behaviour will also destroy the wholesome and happy environment that every school should have, leading to bullying, and turning playgrounds from a place of joy to a jungle.”
The NEU said that schools “generally have very clear policies” when it comes to mobile phones, but they need to be able to make “recovery education realistic”.
What do teachers think?
Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary, National Education Union (NEU) told Newsround that teachers “don’t need a lecture about the importance of re-establishing the routines for good learning and behaviour”.
She said Mr Williamson should’ve talked about other things that help with behaviour, like smaller class sizes, more funding for pastoral support and releasing time for teachers to work with small groups and look at gaps in learning.
Dr Bousted said that teachers do understand the importance of re-establishing routines for good learning and behaviour.
But they believe that 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.
She added: “curriculum expectations must be adapted to what’s happened this academic year”.
“With all the challenges currently facing schools, playing to the gallery by talking tough on behaviour is the least useful approach the Education Secretary can take.”
What else did the government say?
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
“Behaviour and discipline are the cornerstone to so much of what defines this country’s most successful schools.
“Whether it’s supporting some of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged children with the routines and structures needed to help them fulfil their potential, or helping prepare young people for the expectations of the workplace, parents and teachers know that orderly and disciplined classrooms are best.
“That is why I will always support schools taking a firm approach, for example taking action to tackle the scourge of ever-present mobile phones – because I know the positive impact it will have on students’ wellbeing and attainment.”