Removing Low Level Disruption

Many teachers will be unsurprised to see that a recent BBC article featured the headline

‘Low-level, persistent disruptive behaviour in England's schools is affecting pupils' learning and damaging their life chances’. Inspectors have even noted that it impacts on learning!!! Well quite! You don't need Sherlock Holmes to work that one out!

Ofsted even say that some pupils could be losing up to an hour of learning each day - or 38 days a year. In many schools this will be no doubt higher and this doesn't factor in the influence of an inspector in the room.

They have put everything together in a report: Below the Radar: Low-level Disruption in the Country's Classrooms - it is based on the inspection reports of a sample of 95 state schools and academies inspected between January and July this year. This includes evidence from 28 schools that received unannounced inspections and where behaviour had previously been judged to require improvement. The report is also based on a YouGov survey of 1,024 parents and 1,048 teachers.

The report says too many secondary schools underestimate the prevalence and negative impact of low-level disruptive behaviour and some fail to identify or tackle it at an early stage.

YouGov conducted a poll on behalf of Ofsted citing examples and the number of incidences of low level disruption and listed the following:

  • Disturbing other children (38%)

  • Calling out (35%)

  • Not getting on with work (31%)

  • Fidgeting or fiddling with equipment (23%)

  • Not having the correct equipment (19%)

  • Purposely making noise to gain attention (19%)

  • Answering back or questioning instructions (14%)

  • Using mobile devices (11%)

  • Swinging on chairs (11%).

Maybe it’s a reflection of what we tolerate today that we wouldn’t tolerate before that these examples are listed as low level? Many teachers may well see these as high level disruptions and it is no surprise perhaps then that one of our most popular requests for Insets is our course on Removing Low Level Disruption and Behaviour Management

My approach to delivering this course is to see the solution has falling into three aspects. If we can get all three right then the incidences of low level disruption will drop.

The following Venn diagram illustrates the approach:



The challenge is for the teacher to ensure their approach intersects these three aspects (i.e. 7)

To demonstrate its efficacy as a model consider a classroom that had only the following:

  1. Teacher only thinks about the teaching and learning and doesn't consider appropriate systems/checklists and rules and doesn't focus on the relationship with pupils

  2. Teacher focuses on teaching and learning as well as clear rules/systems and checklists but doesn't consider the importance of relationships

  3. Teacher focuses solely on systems.checklists and rules but pays no attention to the teaching and learning or the relationships

  4. Teacher focuses on systems/checklists/rules as well as relationship but doesn't see the role of teaching and learning in the overall equation

  5. Teacher only concerned with relationships and doesn't consider teaching and learning nor systems/checklists and rules

  6. Teacher considers importance of teaching and learning and relationships but pays no reference to systems/checklists or rules

A useful departmental meeting focus would be to consider what the results might be for a teacher who only focuses on say 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6. What kind of classroom would it be?

Often it can be an over reliance on 3 at the expense of the others that results in some short term gains but in the long term wont lead to the quality learning experiences you would want.

Our training day suggests that the ‘sweet spot’ would definitely be 7  - where all three aspects intersect.

If you interested in attending a course that will give you superb strategies and resources to demonstrate how to mirror this approach to removing low level disruption please click on this link. We have been thrilled with the feedback from previous course attendees

Steve was warm, funny, super engaging and very informative. A very worthwhile and interesting course.



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