Schools hit by death of discipline among boys

Evening Standard UK 13 August 2007
The failure of teenage boys in school has reached crisis point – with tens of thousands going off the rails, a report has warned. A “cotton wool culture” and lack of competitive sport has led to one in five aged 13 or 14 being suspended from school last year, according to the Bow Group think-tank. Boys received 248,950 suspensions lasting at least a day during the 2005/2006 academic year, compared with 94,750 for girls. At the same time 7,280 boys were expelled, compared with 1,860 girls. The result is that, at 14, one in five boys has a reading ability of a pupil half his age and at 16 a quarter of boys – almost 90,000 – do not gain a single GCSE at Grade C or above. The Bow Group says society is sitting on a “qualifications timebomb”, with just 144,229 boys progressing to further education each year compared with 167,258 girls.The gender gap is most pronounced in behaviour, with boys greatly outnumbering girls at special centres for pupils who cannot be educated in schools. But the centres put boys at a greater risk of drifting into crime, says the report. … But the report adds: “When it comes to poor discipline in the classroom, however, boys vastly outperform girls” They are four times more likely than girls to be expelled from school and two-and-a-half times more likely to be suspended. Boys between the ages of 12 and 14 made up 54 per cent of all expulsions last year – a one per cent increase on 2005.