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The Education Forum

Task Force on Discipline

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The government is setting up an expert group of a dozen teachers and head teachers to advise it on improving classroom behaviour in England.

Sir Alan Steer, head of Seven Kings High School in Ilford, Essex, is to chair the Task Force. It will advise on "strategies to ensure effective school discipline, improve parental responsibility for their children's behaviour and deliver a culture of respect in all schools".

It has been asked to report by November, when its recommendations will be considered by another committee chaired by Schools Minister Jacqui Smith.

Education Secretary Ruth Kelly said on Radio 4 this morning that behaviour in schools has improved since Labour took power in 1997. The interviewer pointed out that in his annual report in February the chief inspector, David Bell, said the proportion of schools in which behaviour overall was good or better had fallen from over three quarters five years ago to just over two thirds. "Over the same period, the proportion where behaviour is unsatisfactory, at just under one in 10 schools, has not reduced," he added.

What is the point of this committee? As Blair showed with the Tomlinson Report, he will only implement those aspects of the final report that he agrees with.

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