News by NewsBot on July 13, 2008 @ 12:00 AM
Schools should have greater powers to search pupils, behaviour review says.
Teachers should be able to search pupils to stop them bringing alcohol and drugs into school, says a review on tackling bad behaviour among pupils.
Sir Alan Steer is to deliver proposals from his government-commissioned review of ways to improve discipline.
Alcohol is identified as a growing problem in schools - and Sir Alan wants teachers to have the legal power to search pupils and confiscate drink.
At present, teachers only have the right to search for weapons.
The report from Sir Alan will respond to the concerns of head teachers in some "challenging" schools in which there are worries about the influence of alcohol and, to a lesser extent, illegal drugs.
Teachers should also have the power to search for suspected stolen property in pupils' pockets or bags, in situations such as disputes over stolen mobile phones or music players.
Last year, schools were given legal powers to search pupils they suspected of carrying weapons - and they were allowed to refuse entry to any pupil who refused to be searched.
Sir Alan is also expected to call for more ways to involve parents in improving school discipline.
This could include using text messages and e-mails to make immediate contact with parents where there are concerns about pupils' behaviour or if they are absent from school.
The review on behaviour in school comes against a background of growing concern over teenage knife crime - and Sir Alan highlights the responsibility of adults in creating the cultures of good and bad behaviour.
Sir Alan, head teacher of Seven Kings High School, Ilford, has warned that adults can too often set a bad example for young people, showing them behaviour that is greedy and aggressive.
This latest interim report from Sir Alan, published on Monday, will be the latest instalment of his work on improving behaviour, which was initially commissioned by the education secretary in 2005.
Sir Alan reported in March that good progress was being made in tackling bad behaviour - and he highlighted a range of important influences on behaviour.
These included the quality of teaching, clear and consistent rules, mutual respect and the support of parents. But he cautioned against assuming there were "simple solutions".
Sir Alan has also emphasised that schools are not the places of danger in young people's lives - and that often they can be the safest havens in disrupted lives.