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Teachers' Attitudes towards Disruptive Behaviour and

Their Use of Internal Referral


MICHAEL EVANS, Aylward School, Edmonton

This study offers a very neat demonstration


of something which conventional wisdom
holds: that our actions reflect our beliefs.
But the topic under investigation is a
challenging one teachers' uses of `referral
systems' in school. The evidence suggests
that referrals reflect teachers' beliefs not,
therefore, the pupils' behaviour. We do
not know of a study of this sort anywhere
in the literature on school behaviour, yet
these findings have major implications
for those pastoral systems which have
become distorted into discipline systems.
Michael examines these with care, taking
pains not to be simply `pointing the
finger'.
Michael Evans has been teaching physical
education and mathematics in London for
seven years. Currently in his second
secondary post as Head of Year, Michael is
working to complete his MA at the
University of London Institute of
Education. In his spare time he heads for
the hills, wind and rain of Scotland.

Introduction
Teachers' opinions regarding disruptive behaviour
were surveyed in a secondary school. Each respondent's use of the school's internal referral system to
deal with disruptive incidents was also surveyed.
Evidence presented suggests an association between
the teachers' belief in the effectiveness of behaviour
management strategies not directly involving them,
and the frequency of internal referral. Some possible
explanations for any such association are discussed
together with other related issues arising from the
survey.
Schools have a profound capacity to influence the
extent of disaffection and disruptive behaviour
amongst their student body (Rutter et al., 1979;
Galloway et al., 1982; Reynolds, 1984; Watkins,

1998). Indeed, Galloway (1983) concludes that factors


in the catchment area of a school have much less
influence on children's behaviour than the policies
and practices of the school itself. Such policies and
practices are shaped by, and indicative of, a school's
culture which is comprised of the basic assumptions
and beliefs shared by its members (Schein, 1996).
School culture will vary from institution to institution
largely due to differences in shared values, beliefs and
attitudes. Maxwell (1987) investigated staff attitudes
and beliefs relevant to disruptive behaviour in an
attempt to better understand the differences between
schools that were `successful' and `unsuccessful' in
addressing the issue. The study surveyed the opinions
of a sample of management and pastoral care staff in
six Scottish secondary schools with respect to disruptive behaviour. By applying `locus of control'
theory to each staff's response, preliminary evidence
suggested that there was a link between a staff's belief
in the school's capacity to control disruptive behaviour and its ability to prevent and/or respond
constructively to disruptive behaviour when it
occurred. Maxwell found a strong suggestion of a
trend towards higher rates of suspension amongst
schools who tended to have less confidence in their
ability to tackle disruptive behaviour.
Maxwell's work initiated the debate that led to this
study and shaped much of the data-gathering
methodology. The intriguing question which arose
was that if, at the institutional level, a staff's attitudes
and beliefs towards disruptive behaviour affect the
school's ability to deal with the issue, is the same true
at the individual level?
Locus-of-control theory proposes that individuals
who believe their performance to be a product of
their own efforts, and not of factors outside their
control, are more effective in gaining improvement on
a task. This is described as an internal locus of control.
In contrast, individuals who feel their performance to
be dependent on factors outside their control tend to
develop `learned helplessness' and failure is more
frequent. This is seen as manifesting an external locus
of control.
This study aims to explore the hypothesis that
individual teachers who believe strongly in the

PASTORAL CARE DECEMBER 1999


# NAPCE 1999. Published by Blackwell Publishers, 108 Cowley Road, Oxford, UK and 350 Main Street, Malden MA 02148, USA.

29

effectiveness of strategies external to their direct


involvement are more likely to refer students exhibiting disruptive behaviour to a second party. Equally,
this position implies that teachers with a strong belief
in the power of behaviour management strategies
directly involving them will tend to deal with
incidents of disruptive behaviour themselves and
demonstrate a lower frequency of referral. In addition
to its main focus, this paper also considers teachers'
views on the causes of disruptive behaviour and
several other related issues.
It is important to state that this work is not an attempt
to identify any specific group of teachers at whom to
point the finger, by a revengeful Head of Year
referring to the referrers. Experience and study have
demonstrated to me that challenging behaviour is a
much too complex and multidimensional phenomenon to be assigned as one group's responsibility. The
aim of this investigation is to try to understand more
fully how teachers' beliefs and attitudes impact on
their, and therefore their school's, capacity to manage
student behaviour. The motivation arises from a
concern that the capacity of teachers to manage
challenging behaviour has a major impact on the
nature of any pastoral system and the roles of those
working within it. As a Head of Year, I am only too
aware of how the role can be distorted to that of a
destination for `naughty children'. While this perception exists and is used as a first stage behaviour
management strategy by some colleagues in the
classroom, the time and energy for other aspects of
the post are consumed. New and exciting developments within school, such as academic review/
mentoring, which indicate a move away from the
traditional pastoralacademic divide, are compromised when key managers of the process are locked
in a cycle of secondary behaviour management. The
desired outcome of this research is an insight that
will allow the school studied to move forward with
the redefinition of its pastoral system by unlocking
key personnel and understanding this aspect of its
culture a little more intimately. It is also an attempt to
identify certain cultural characteristics which may
undermine or support future behaviour improvement
initiatives. Perhaps most importantly, this assignment
allows a Head of Year the opportunity to calmly and
precisely reflect on an issue that is often clouded by
assumption.
The central question remains: do teachers' attitudes
and beliefs about school discipline affect their use of
the referral system?
Research Methods
Questionnaire Design
Questionnaire design followed a similar structure to
that in the Maxwell (1987) study. After considerable
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# NAPCE 1999.

amendments and additions, a total of fifty-two items,


divided into three sections, were included (see
Appendix A).
The first section contained seven items described as
`general views' related to disruptive behaviour in
schools. These included items referring to relative
levels of disruptive behaviour in secondary schools,
corporal punishment and, significantly, an item
relating to whether the resolution of the problem of
disruptive behaviour in school lies in the hands of the
school staff themselves or with outside agencies.
The second section required the respondent to
indicate their beliefs about causes of disruptive pupil
behaviour. The eighteen items in this section were
composed of three types of causes, six of each type:
.

Internal (I) Causes Within the specific control of


the class teacher (for example, poor classroom
management)
External/Internal (EI) Causes Outside the direct
control of the individual class teacher but related to
in-school factors (for example, lack of backup/
support for class teachers with difficulties)
External (E) Causes Originating outside the direct
control of both individual class teacher and the
wider school system, locating the cause with the
student, her family or the local community (for
example, lack of involvement of parents)

The third section, `Strategies for Tackling Disruptive


Behaviour', represented the central theme of the study
and included 27 items, requiring the respondent to
indicate effective strategies for tackling disruptive
pupil behaviour. The three different types of strategy
suggested were:
.

Internal (I) Strategy The class teacher is at the


centre of this strategy (for example, INSET for
subject teachers on classroom management skills)
External/Internal (EI) Strategy Outside the direct
control of the individual subject teacher but within
the domain of other staff or the school as a whole
(for example, whole school review of curriculum
relevance)
External (E) Strategy Involving outside agencies
but with no significant input from school staff (for
example, off-site day units for disruptive pupils)

The development of the three strategy categories (and


therefore three cause categories), as opposed to a more
simple Internal versus External analysis, arose from
discussions with Chris Watkins (Institute of Education, University of London) identifying the External/
Internal subgroup. Though initially dismissed as complicating matters, further consideration led to the
conclusion that since the investigation was focusing
on teachers' frequency of in-school referral, itself an
EI strategy, a specific measure of teachers' attitudes
towards such measures may prove illuminating.
PASTORAL CARE DECEMBER 1999

A five-point scale was used throughout the questionnaire. While recognizing that an odd number of
possible responses allows respondents to adopt a
middle line, discussions with colleagues suggested
that they should be allowed to have a neutral opinion
when undecided. The method of data analysis
planned to use the mid-point of the scale as a watershed.
Sample
The subject school is a co-educational, LEA maintained comprehensive secondary school in South
West London. Students are aged from 12 to 16 years
and the school has a roll of 840. There are 46 teaching
staff, over 80 per cent of whom have worked at
the school for between 5 and 30 years. Research was
conducted while the author was employed at the
school as Head of Year 11.
Questionnaires were issued to all staff. The headteacher was provided with a questionnaire but not
included in the survey as he was not involved in the
referral process as a class teacher.
The referral data was gathered using the school's
Pastoral/Academic Liaison (PAL) forms relating to
the Year 10 cohort. An example of a PAL form can be
found in Appendix B. Year 10 was selected as the
focus for referral analysis for two main reasons:
1. Staff room opinion seemed to suggest that Year 10
was a `difficult' year a feeling that invites an
objective investigation.
2. The head of that year had progressed through the
school with that `difficult' group of students, and
had kept a full and organized record of referrals
covering the previous three academic years (1995/
961997/98).
Data Recovered
Thirty-six questionnaires were returned, representing
78 per cent of those issued. All subject areas and
management levels were represented in the data
recovered.
The PAL forms relating to Year 10 students numbered
454, covering three years' referrals.
Results and Discussion
Teachers' Views of Effective Strategies
Analysis of Results
The general rating of all strategy categories was
surprisingly high. Only a low number of colleagues
PASTORAL CARE DECEMBER 1999

rated strategies as ineffective (mean rating 5 3). These


were: Internal strategies, 1; External/Internal strategies, 5; External strategies, 3. The contrast is
interesting but only reflects a very small number of
respondents. However, it posed difficulties for the
planned method of analysis which was to consider
individuals whose mean ratings per category were
5 3 and 4 3 and compare frequency of referral. A
different system of analysis was required to indicate
the differences between this sample of 36 teachers.
Accordingly, a ranking of teachers was constructed,
based on their mean effectiveness ratings for each
strategy type (I, E, I/E), highest to lowest (1 to 36).
On analysing the 454 PAL forms, it became clear that
they fell into different types: (i) requesting action from
a second party action referral; (ii) informing a
second party of an incident of disruptive behaviour
but requesting no further action information
referral; (iii) informing a second party of the positive
achievement of a student positive referral. The 454
PAL forms broke down into 220 action, 127 information and 107 positive referrals. Teachers' number
of referrals in each of these categories were ranked,
1 to 36. Since the `action referral' category was the
type of most interest, this ranking was compared to
the strategy rankings.
Results: Strategy Ranking and Frequency of Referral
The rank positions in each strategy category were
listed alongside the descending rank of referral frequency. This is summarized in Table 1 and Figure 1.
What is clearly shown in both the table and graph
is that the top 33 per cent (12 teachers), rating EI
strategies more highly than the rest of the sample,
accounted for 70.5 per cent of all action referrals
made. In addition, the bottom third of the EI rank,
teachers who believed less strongly in the effectiveness of such strategies than the majority of the
sample, were responsible for only 9.5 per cent of
action referrals. This would indicate a possible
association between a teacher's belief in a type of
behaviour management strategy and the frequency
with which it is used. Since `action referral' is itself an
EI strategy, a relationship between teacher belief and
teacher behaviour is strongly suggested.
The results are less extreme for the teacher ranking
on E strategy, although 46.4 per cent is still a higher
rate of referral than would be expected from an even
spread throughout. What is most interesting here is
the extremely small percentage of referrals made by
colleagues who least favour strategies external to the
school. The bottom 33 per cent of the E rank accounts
for only 5.9 per cent of all referrals. The implication
here is that teachers who believe less in relying on
external agencies to address concerns regarding
disruptive behaviour may also be less likely to pass
# NAPCE 1999.

31

Table 1. Proportion of action referrals made by staff, according to their views on effective strategies
Category of strategy viewed as effective

Action referrals made by staff, according to their ranking on the strategy (%)
Top 33% of staff

External/Internal
External
Internal

Middle 33% of staff

70.5
46.4
36.4

20.0
47.7
33.1

Bottom 33% of staff


9.5
5.9
30.5

Total action
referrals (%)

Figure 1. Action referrals made by staff according to strategy

on associated difficulties up the pastoral/disciplinary


ladder within the school.
Analysis of the results for the I strategies demonstrates no apparent association between teachers'
belief in internal behaviour management methods
and the frequency of action referral. In this case the
number of such referrals were distributed quite
evenly throughout the rank. The proportion of
referrals made by the top 33 per cent of the rank,
however, was half that made by the equivalent
position in the EI category.
Rankings were also compared to examine any link
between strategy ratings and positive referral but no
significant pattern was forthcoming.
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# NAPCE 1999.

Teachers' Views of Causes of Disruptive Behaviour


Analysis of Results
Though not the prime focus of the study, the
opportunity to touch on the potential link (Brophy
and Rohrkemper, 1981) between the attribution of
causal factors of disruptive behaviour and strategies
selected to manage it was enticing. Equally, data on
the perceived causes could be useful to colleagues
within the school attempting to advance the behaviour management debate.
Respondents had their mean rating calculated for
each causal category. Once again, each category was
ranked. Though it was not within the scope of the
PASTORAL CARE DECEMBER 1999

present investigation to examine any direct relationship between both categories of causal factors and
behaviour management strategies, a comparison of
cause ranking to referral is worthy of discussion
(Table 2).

dicted the mean response and agreed with the


statement.

The results in Table 2 show that teachers who rated


any external categories of cause most highly accounted for over 60 per cent of action referrals, while
those who gave the lowest ratings to any external
cause were responsible for 22.3 per cent and 19.1 per
cent respectively. By contrast, teachers' beliefs in
internal causes of disruptive behaviour are associated
with a more even distribution of referrals.

After the initial analysis of PAL forms, it became


apparent that eleven colleagues had made no documented referral for the Year 10 students over the
entire three-year period. When considering their
positions in the rankings for strategy categories, only
one of these 11 colleagues appeared in the top 33 per
cent of the EI ranking, which was strongly associated
with action referrals. What factors might explain these
teachers' zero action referrals, and their lesser belief
in EI strategy effectiveness? Eight of these eleven
teachers are middle managers (five Heads of Department, two Year Coordinators and a SENCO). Since
such individuals form the destination for many referred students, it seems reasonable to suggest that
their own lack of referral may be a function of their
pastoral/disciplinary responsibility. It may be the
case that when occupying a role one step up the
referral ladder, colleagues' belief in EI strategies is
likely to be lower than those standing on the
pavement.

From a whole-school perspective it was interesting to


note the mean ratings on the five-point scale for each
causal category: Internal, 2.98; External/Internal, 3.19;
and External, 3.82. As a whole group, the staff sample
believed more strongly in external causes of disruptive behaviour than internal. This was quite clearly
apparent when processing the questionnaires. In fact,
only four colleagues rated internal causes higher than
either of the two external categories.
Other Results of Interest

Colleagues Making Zero Referrals

General Views

Individual Results of Specific Interest

This section of the questionnaire did yield some


valuable information. All respondents, with the
exception of only one, felt that disruptive behaviour
in secondary schools was increasing (mean response,
4.14). While the mean response to the statement `A
degree of corporal punishment could form a necessary sanction to combat disruption' was disagreement
(mean response, 1.97), six colleagues were in agreement with the statement.

Only one teacher of those surveyed displayed


consistently `internal' views of strategy (mean ratings
less than 3 for EI and E categories and greater than
3 for the I category). This was the Deputy Head
(Pastoral). It is perhaps not altogether surprising
that the colleague leading the pastoral system within
the school believes that dealing with disruptive
behaviour is best done at source. What is reassuring,
however, is that this key individual rated the
effectiveness of strategies external to the school less
than any other respondent.

The item `The resolution of the problems of disruptive


behaviour in secondary schools lies in the hands of
the school staff themselves rather than with outside
agencies' was perhaps the most relevant to the main
purpose of this study. It attempts to evaluate the
respondents' belief in in-school measures to address
disruptive behaviour. The mean response (2.39) of
the sample was disagreement. Seven teachers contra-

One teacher made zero action referrals but completed


15 positive PAL forms. Consideration of her strategy
ratings indicated that she scored the I category
slightly more highly than the others. A wider search
for an association between I category rating and
positive referral proved fruitless. This individual's

Table 2. Proportion of action referrals made by staff, according to their views on major causes
Category of cause viewed as major

Action referrals made by staff, according to their ranking on the major cause (%)
Top 33% of staff

External/Internal
External
Internal

PASTORAL CARE DECEMBER 1999

60.5
65.0
45.0

Middle 33% of staff


17.2
15.9
36.8

# NAPCE 1999.

Bottom 33% of staff


22.3
19.1
18.2

33

pattern of referral does, however, seem to indicate a


positive approach and identifies her as a potentially
valuable source of behaviour management strategies.
Further Discussion
The evidence presented does imply an association
between a teacher's level of belief in behaviour management strategies external to their direct involvement (notably EI) and use of action referral when
encountering disruption. A relationship between
teachers' beliefs and actions in this context does seem
tangible (Bird, 1984 cited in Maxwell 1987). If true, it is
important to consider how such beliefs have been
established, for they do not develop in a vacuum. It
is possible that if through consistent use of action
referral a teacher can solve their problems (i.e.
disruptive behaviour in their class) and achieve
personal stability, their belief in such tactics is
magnified. Here actions affect beliefs. A cyclical
process emerges (Figure 2).
Where this cycle starts is open to debate, but what is
without doubt is the difficulty in breaking the cycle
once it is established. The incision, wherever it is
made, must ensure that a teacher's long-term personal
stability is maintained (or increased) and their
problem (disruptive behaviour) is solved or managed.
Let us say, on receiving an action referral, a Head of
Year suggests to the teacher concerned a preferable
strategy directly involving them. The referral cycle
will only truly be broken if the teacher obtains success
and stability with the `internal' strategy which has
been suggested. Belief may then start a gradual
transfer from the action referral cycle to an internal
process.
The complexity and difficulties associated with this
change in approach to behaviour management must
not be underestimated. The personal risk to the
teacher concerned is high. Galloway (1983) remarks
that when teachers seek help so that they may address

disruptive behaviour themselves, they experience


increased stress in the short term; the problem cannot
be passed on, but must be faced. In the longer term,
however, finding a solution enhances a teacher's selfesteem by demonstrating professional development
and growth.
Considering the beliefaction relationship at an
individual level is consuming but it is important
not to lose sight of the bigger picture: the context in
which such a cycle is formed and exists. While
individual teacher beliefs and values contribute to
an institutional culture, the reverse process is also
powerful. For teachers to use and sometimes abuse
EI strategies, they have to exist. By creating a system
that may encourage teachers to pass on difficulties
with disruptive behaviour or by failing to provide
adequate support for teachers to develop internal
management strategies, an atmosphere of `external
reliance' is fostered. Within such an institution,
`learned helplessness' and an associated external
locus of control could flourish. Here the beliefs and
values at the institutional level, evident in policy and
practice, permeate the individual teacher beliefaction
cycle.
There is, of course, a level between institutional and
individual beliefs which can shape the approach to
behaviour management. Different departments and
year teams may possess subcultures which bring
alternative values and beliefs to the situation and add
further complexity. Some heads of department in the
school make great efforts in supporting their staff
with classroom management issues. Others do not
appear as enthusiastic and teachers within the
department tend to rely more heavily on Heads of
Year.
All three levels (individual, institutional and team)
of influence on a teacher's beliefs in dealing with
disruptive behaviour operate within a national arena.
The media constantly inform us of individual
incidents and a supposed rise in disruption within

Figure 2. The teacher beliefaction referral cycle


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PASTORAL CARE DECEMBER 1999

schools, supported by exclusion figures which, while


accurate, cover a much less simple story than that
depicted. It is likely that such coverage adds to the
forces which shape beliefs and attitudes.
Conclusions
It does appear from results that teachers within the
school who most strongly believe in EI and E
strategies for managing disruptive behaviour pass
more incidents through the referral system. Earlier
discussions have highlighted some explanations for
this which present challenges to the school as an
institution. It appears that a relatively small minority
of teachers within the survey produce a large proportion of referrals. In addition, the vast majority of
the teachers feel that disruptive behaviour is increasing. The school needs to consider this and examine its
pastoral system for teachers. Colleagues need to be
supported through a transfer to achieving greater
balance between I and EI strategies. This can only be
achieved in a culture where asking for help does not
incur derision or damage self-esteem. Tentative plans
already exist to run a `managing behaviour workshop'
with an open and mutually supportive philosophy.
With care, this could be a positive arena which
encourages collegiality and develops the confidence
to break the beliefaction referral cycle. Alone,
however, progress will be localized.
Whole staff responses to key questionnaire items also
hold implications for the progress of the school's
behaviour management. Only seven of the 36 teachers
in the sample felt that school staff, rather than external
agencies, held responsibility for the resolution of the
problem of disruptive behaviour in schools. This
suggests that the majority of teachers may not see
addressing the issue of disruptive behaviour as
central to their role. When the earlier arguments
concerning the `zero referral' members of staff are also
taken into account, the likelihood that specific staff
must assume the `technician of behaviour' (Merchant,
1988) role is increased. The school must continue to
develop a culture where behaviour management is
each teacher's responsibility and not the domain of a
handful of `specialist' staff. Its drive to raise the
profile of the tutor as the key component in pastoral
care provides a welcome step towards this goal.
While only touching on causal attribution, the results
do indicate that the vast majority of teachers sampled
favoured external explanations over internal. This
may indicate teachers' general hesitation to consider
their own contribution to the causes of disruptive
behaviour. Hamblin (1977, cited in Galloway, 1983)
illustrates how any advance the school can make in
this area will be worthwhile: `Teachers have little or
no control over their children's home backgrounds.
Hence, the focus should be on adjustment and
progress at school.'
PASTORAL CARE DECEMBER 1999

The data gathered and discussion initiated in this


paper must now find its way back into the arena from
which it originated. Colleagues in the school must
have the opportunity to analyse the research findings
and respond to them individually, through departments and year teams or as a whole staff. Participation in any open debate requires an atmosphere of
collegiality where the risk to personal security and
esteem is minimized. One fear is that the release of
this data could lead to the kind of assumptions and
`pointing of fingers' that the author was so specifically
keen to avoid. The issue is too important to back away
from, however, and consists of nothing less than a
thorough examination of the beliefs and attitudes that
underpin this aspect of the school's culture.
In its pursuit of transition towards a unified pastoral
academic system, the school is engaged in culture
change. Implementing changes in structures without
examining the values and beliefs which form their
foundation could result in mere tinkering. To change
your culture, you must know it. It is hoped that
through the discussion of issues raised by this work,
colleagues in the school will increase their familiarity
with certain aspects of their school culture and
consider whether there is a need to revisit and
redefine some of its components.
The problems caused by overreliance on action
referral as a behaviour management strategy are felt
by students, teachers and institutions. Students may
find themselves consistently missing the same
lessons, confrontations left unresolved in the true
sense. Small-scale incidents can soon become magnified as children add conflicts with other teachers
down the line of referral. Teachers overusing the
strategy become deskilled and permanently damage
their relationship with individual students. Heads of
department and heads of year are submerged in
secondary behaviour management, decreasing their
efficiency to fulfil their wider role. Schools may
experience unnecessarily high levels of fixed-term
exclusion.
Hamblin (1977, cited in Galloway, 1983) invites
teachers and schools to look at themselves and what
they can do to make the most of what their students
bring to the school gate. To look too often towards
another for solutions is to fail both our students and
ourselves.

References
BROPHY, J. E. and ROHRKEMPER, M. M. (1981) `The Influence of
Problem Ownership on Teachers' Perceptions of and Strategies
for Coping with Problem Students', Journal of Educational
Psychology 73(3), pp. 295311.
GALLOWAY, D. (1983) `Disruptive Pupils and Effective Pastoral
Care', School Organisation 3(3), pp. 24554.
GALLOWAY, D., BALL, T., BLOMFIELD., D. and SYED., R. (1982)
Schools and Disruptive Pupils. Harlow: Longman.

# NAPCE 1999.

35

MAXWELL, W. S. (1987) `Teachers' Attitudes towards Disruptive


Behaviour in Secondary Schools', Educational Review 39(3),
pp. 20316.
MERCHANT, J. (1988) `The Pastoral Care/Discipline Conjunction
and its Relation to Social Control', Pastoral Care in Education 6(3),
pp. 914.
REYNOLDS, D. (1984) `The School for Vandals: a Sociological
Portrait of a Disaffection Prone School' in N. Frude and H. Gault,
(eds) Disruptive Behaviour in Schools. Chichester: Wiley.

RUTTER, M., MAUGHAN, B., MORTIMORE, P. and OUSTON, J.


(1979) Fifteen Thousand Hours: Secondary Schools and Their Effects on
Children. London: Open Books.
SCHEIN, E. H. (1996) Organisational Culture and Leadership (2nd
edn). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
WATKINS, C. (1998) Managing Classroom Behaviour: from Research
to Diagnosis. London: Institute of Education. Paper originally
published for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.

Appendix A
Questionnaire on Disruptive Behaviour Staff

Initials...........

Section 1: General Issues


Please circle your response to the statements below concerning disruptive behaviour.
Strongly
agree
1. Disruptive behaviour in secondary schools is increasing
2. Exclusion is an effective deterrent for disruptive behaviour
3. Schools are increasingly asked to accommodate individuals whose
behaviour seriously threatens their and others' education
4. Teachers should not have to deal with persistent disruptive behaviour
5. A degree of corporal punishment could form a necessary sanction to
combat disruption
6. The resolution of the problem of disruptive behaviour in secondary
schools lies in the hands of the school staff themselves rather than with
outside agencies
7. More special schools are needed to cope with disruptive pupils

Strongly
disagree

5
5
5

4
4
4

3
3
3

2
2
2

1
1
1

5
5

4
4

3
3

2
2

1
1

Section 2: Causes of Disruptive Behaviour


Listed below are potential causes of a pupil's disruptive behaviour. Please rate them, from your experience at this
school, on the 1 to 5 scale by circling the appropriate number.
Major
cause
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.

36

Inadequacy of available sanctions


Excessive workload leading to low teacher morale
Inadequate differentiation in curriculum delivery
Lack of involvement of parents
Insensitive handling by class teachers
School's undervaluing of non-academic pupils
Unsupportive values in wider community
Lack of time for pastoral care
Lack of pupil self discipline
Poor classroom management
Pupil's inability to see consequences of their actions
Lack of backup/support for class teachers with difficulties
Teacher's preconceived view of student affecting his/her fair treatment
Poor school disciplinary procedures
Breakdown in teacher's relationship with student
Clash of cultures (school/home)
Inconsistency in teacher's own application of disciplinary system
Reactive rather than proactive school culture

# NAPCE 1999.

5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5

Negligible
effect
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4

3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3

2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2

1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

PASTORAL CARE DECEMBER 1999

Section 3: Strategies for Tackling Disruptive Behaviour


Please rate the strategies below in terms of their effectiveness in tackling the problem of disruptive behaviour.
Very
effective
26.
27.
28.
29.
30.
31.
32.
33.
34.
35.
36.
37.
38.
39.
40.
41.
42.
43.
44.
45.
46.
47.
48.
49.
50.
51.
52.

Residential schools for disruptive pupils


Whole school review of curriculum relevance
Units attached to mainstream schools
Consistent application of agreed sanctions
Teacher analysis of the situation where disruptive behaviour does/does
not occur
Year team led behaviour modification programmes for disruptive
students
INSET for subject teachers on classroom management skills
Off-site day units for disruptive pupils
Referral to Head of Department
Isolation with Head of Year
Class teachers in closer liaison with parents of disruptive pupils
Educational consultant assessing school behaviour policy
Liaison between subject teachers to identify successful practice
Development of greater interagency liaison
Short-term family intervention by external agencies
Subject teacher negotiating targets with student to raise his/her
achievement
Counselling of student by referral unit
Fast track exclusion procedures
Reduction in teachers' administrative duties to allow more time for
pastoral care
Establishment of a supervised isolation room for immediate referral of
disruptive students
Teachers recording/communicating specific incidents of disruptive
behaviour
Disciplinary action supervised by the teacher present during the
disruptive episode
Establishment of behaviour improvement working party
LDD/HOY analysis of behaviour survey data
Residential outdoor education courses to develop the social skills/self
esteem of disruptive students
Delegation of responsibility for dealing with disruptive students to
`specialist' school staff
Teachers taking a diagnostic approach to managing the behaviour of
disruptive students

PASTORAL CARE DECEMBER 1999

# NAPCE 1999.

Not
effective

5
5
5
5
5

4
4
4
4
4

3
3
3
3
3

2
2
2
2
2

1
1
1
1
1

5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5

4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4

3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3

2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2

1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

5
5
5

4
4
4

3
3
3

2
2
2

1
1
1

5
5
5

4
4
4

3
3
3

2
2
2

1
1
1

37

Appendix B
Pastoral/Academic Liaison Form [PAL]
Name of Pupil ....................................................................

Tutor Group ..............................

Date ...............................

Subject ..................................................................................

Staff ..........................................................................................

The above pupil is referred for the following reason(s):


PRAISE

CONCERN

Attitude

&

Classwork

&

Homework

&

Homework

&

Project work

&

Lack of equipment

&

Initiative/enterprise

&

Behaviour

&

Other

&

Lateness

&

Uniform

&

Other

&

Details if appropriate

PRAISE Action already taken

CONCERN Action already taken

1. Pupil seen

&

2. Parent notified

&

Lunch-time

&

3. Work displayed

&

After school

&

4. Commendation

&

Other ............................................................................
.......................................................................................

White Office

38

Blue HOY

# NAPCE 1999.

Red Tutor

1. Detained: Break

&

2. Parent contacted

&

3. Additional action asked for by


HOY/Tutor, please (detail?)

&

Yellow SEN/HOD/Personal/Other

PASTORAL CARE DECEMBER 1999