A poor curriculum can fuel bad behaviour in the classroom, a cross-party group of MPs has warned.
Lessons must cater to different pupils’ strengths in order to hold their attention and stop them misbehaving in the class, according to a report by the Commons education select committee.
Its inquiry into school behaviour concludes that any future national curriculum for schools must contain both academic and vocational subjects to meet the needs of all pupils.
The Department for Education (DfE) announced a review of the entire national curriculum earlier this month.
Ministers have already announced a new “English Baccalaureate” which children achieve by gaining five C grades at GCSE including English, mathematics, science, a humanities subject and a foreign language, suggesting ministers are focusing on academic studies.
The committee’s report concludes: “Ministers should bear in mind, when developing proposals for the new national curriculum, that if the future curriculum is to have a beneficial effect on standards of behaviour in the classroom, it will need to meet the needs of all pupils and contain a mix of academic and vocational subjects, while being differentiated and enjoyable.
“We heard in evidence that pupils who are positively engaged in learning are less likely to have behaviour problems.”
The report also found that it was difficult to tell whether standards of behaviour in schools have worsened or improved. It calls for the DfE to collect sample data on all serious incidents in schools, not just those that lead to a child being suspended or expelled.
Schools minister Nick Gibb said: “We are carrying out a thorough review of the national curriculum to ensure it matches the best systems in the world and gives teachers greater professional freedom over how they teach.
“We are also making it easier for heads to expel violent pupils and giving teachers greater powers to search children and remove disruptive children from class.”