Classroom disciplinary climate in secondary schools in England
What is the real picture?
This paper uses international data from a range of sources, principally the 2013 round of the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS 2013), to provide new information on classroom disciplinary climate in secondary schools in England. The paper advances the literature in three distinct ways. Firstly, the data show that teachers in England perceive that there is considerable disruption in their classrooms. While some reports, especially from official sources, have suggested that classroom disruption is minimal in schools in England that does not seem plausible given these results from TALIS. Secondly, since TALIS contains comparable data for over 30 countries, the results for England can be set in a wider context. Reports in the media frequently highlight pupil disruption and suggest that classroom climate tends to be worse in England than in many other countries. In fact what emerges from the international comparison is that, on each of the items measuring classroom climate in TALIS 2013, the results for England were somewhat better than both the all-country average and the average for a group of European comparators. Thirdly, the survey also includes a range of information about the school in which the teacher worked, the pupils which they taught, and the teachers themselves. We draw on this data to investigate which school-level characteristics, teacher attributes, and characteristics of pupils in the classroom, were associated with favourable classroom climate in England. While some commentators have focused exclusively on school-level factors, we emphasise the importance of within-school variation.