04/04/2012 06:22 BST

Pupils Need Tougher Discipline To Rival Corporal Punishment, Says ATL Member

Schools need tough behaviour sanctions to rival corporal punishment as a deterrent for naughty pupils, teachers have warned.

Current methods, such as detention, suspension and exclusion, fail to deal with behaviour problems because headteachers are more concerned with meeting targets and losing income than disciplining students.

Julian Perfect, a teacher from inner London, made the comments at a union conference but insisted he was not advocating a return to corporal punishment.

At ATL's annual conference in Manchester on Wednesday, Perfect proposed a resolution which warned that successive governments have failed to introduce effective ways of dealing with naughty pupils since corporal punishment was abolished in 1986.

The forms of discipline currently available to teachers remain "totally inadequate," the motion said.

"Effective teaching and learning cannot take place against a constant background of disruptive behaviour by pupils.

"Moreover, where such behaviour is a regular occurrence it should not be attributed to a teacher's inability to plan and take lessons.

He continued: "This motion does not seek the reinstatement of corporal punishment but rather the identification of additional forms of sanction for use by teachers to deal with inappropriate behaviour."

The resolution instructed ATL's executive committee to look into suitable effective disciplinary measures to alleviate the "debilitating effects on children who want to learn and teachers who want to teach".

A survey released by ATL last week suggested that poor parenting could be fuelling bad behaviour in schools.

A third of teachers have dealt with physical violence recently, and behaviour has worsened in the last five years, with pupils kicking, punching, pushing and shoving school staff, it said.

The current government has given teachers greater powers to search pupils, to issue no-notice inspections and clarified guidance on use of force.