David Cameron Suggests Pupils Should Stand Up When Teachers Enter Classrooms

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David Cameron has suggested pupils should stand up when their teachers enter the classroom but his idea has been criticised by both teachers and students as unrealistic.

As part of the coalition's drive to increase discipline in schools, the prime minister praised those who adhered to the old-fashioned practice.

"Give headteachers and their staff the freedom to teach and run their schools; give parents greater choice and transparency about schools and their results and you can see fantastic outcomes.

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"Children who stand up when their parents or teacher walks in the room. Real discipline, rigorous standards, hard subjects. Sports where children can learn about success and, yes, sometimes failure too," he said on Thursday during the Conservatives' local election campaign in Dumfries.

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The comments tie in with the Department for Educations' manifesto to introduce military academies, which will be staffed by ex-servicemen.

In January, think tank ResPublica publicly backed plans to establish a network of schools run by the military to address poor discipline and educational failure in problem neighbourhoods.

But the announcement Phoenix Free School is to open in Greater Manchester has proved divisive.

BLOG: Student Ayaz Manji on the problem with military academies.

So it comes as no surprise there were a few tweeters who were rather sceptical about Cameron's plans for students to stand to attention when teachers entered the room.


Ferg Slade said: "It sounds suspiciously like Cameron is confusing schools with the military..." while @NoisyAdam added: "Yeah, so they can get a better aim when throwing tomatoes."

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said: "Life has changed since the days when pupils in all schools automatically stood up when an adult walked into their classroom.

"This difficult behaviour from pupils often mirrors that of their parents, who frequently have no respect for authority and challenge school rules. We are pleased that David Cameron wants to help schools improve discipline, but he needs to be realistic about today’s world and what will work in our schools.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

“Unless there is good behaviour in schools teachers cannot teach and students cannot learn. We want to put teachers back in control of the classroom. That is why we are clarifying the disciplinary processes in schools so that teachers are better able to deal quickly with bad behaviour.”

Check out our Twitter gallery to see what other people thought of the suggestion and why not add your own opinion to our comments box below.

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Is Cameron right on school discipline?

David Cameron praises children who rise when adults enter the room