'Sometimes knives go missing': Teacher says behaviour problem in schools is 'fundamentally about money'

29 May 2023, 15:41

Teacher talks on extent of the behaviour problem in schools

By Georgina Greer

Teacher Sam said some children's files 'keep you up at night.'

Sam in Edinburgh told David Lammy how he only lasted three days of teacher training before quitting due to children's behaviour.

The story comes as Tiktok prankster Mizzy has been arrested, two days after being fined.

The teenager has gained notoriety for his 'pranks' which are filmed and posted to the platform.

His behaviour and resulting police action have prompted discussion on the behaviour of the UK's children.

READ MORE: TikTok prankster Mizzy charged with breaching court order - days after he was fined and hit with ban

Sam began by recounting what he was told when he first started at the school: "They said sometimes knives go missing and sometimes they turn up in kid's lockers but you know, we haven't had an issue."

He continued: "The behaviour in general...staff have completely lost control."

"I say that not to blame the staff, the trouble was the border system, the system from the management was 'Oh we believe in a restorative approach', now I think that's a problematic word in the sense that prison is surely restorative...but this approach meant 'oh well he's got a knife, we'll have a nice conversation and hope it doesn't happen again.'"

"It was insular...there's no engagement with home and there's no funding for a wider support network."

David Lammy: Is fining parents the correct solution to halting youth crime?

READ MORE: Met Police to stop attending emergency calls linked to mental health in bid to 'focus on crime'

The teacher went on to say the problem is "fundamentally about money."

He pointed out: "It's all very well saying 'it's the parents, what are the parents doing...however we have to remember that in so many of these settings, there are parents who have severe problems with substance abuse, parents are unemployed, parents are disabled and these children go back to that environment."

Sam concluded: "You can see these kids' files... it's not an exaggeration to say it keeps you awake at night."