Diabetic mother, 55, died in hospital after nurse’s ‘gross failure’ to check her dangerously low blood sugar levels
A diabetic mother-of-three died after doctors forgot to check her blood sugar levels – days after she went to hospital with dangerously low glucose levels.
Margaret Pitt, 55, who had lived with type one diabetes for 30 years, admitted herself to hospital when she realised her blood sugar levels were too low.
But after she was moved off the intensive care ward at Alexandra Hospital, Worcestershire, medics neglected to continue to monitor her blood levels – and she collapsed and suffered irreversible brain damage in November 2010.
Now, a coronor has criticised medics who carried out her treatment – describing the actions of a nurse who failed to check the teaching assistant’s blood levels as ‘a gross failure to provide basic medical treatment’.
Margaret’s devastated widower, David, said: ‘Maggie and I had been happily married for 35 years and for her life to be tragically cut short so needlessly is almost too much to bear. ‘I am absolutely distraught by Margaret’s death and very angry that she was let down so badly by the nurses that she put her complete trust in.
‘My wife deserved far better. She was on a ward which was supposed to have experience of caring for diabetic patients and supposedly had the expertise to treat her condition, yet it appears she was just left to deteriorate without anyone checking her blood sugar levels.
‘Over the years there were a number of occasions when I had to pull Maggie out of hypoglycaemic shock. I would check the back of her neck and if she was perspiring, I would give her warm water and a glucose tablet. It’s not rocket science and so I still don’t understand how trained medical staff got it so wrong.’
Margaret had lived with type one diabetes for more than 30 years, having been diagnosed when she was 20 years old, and over the years had become used to the daily routine of injections and checking her blood glucose levels.
However, on 4 November 2010 Margaret began to feel unwell and she recognised the tell-tale signs that her blood glucose levels had risen to a point where she needed medical help. She was admitted to the Alexandra Hospital and after being treated in intensive care she was moved to a ward for ongoing glucose tests and treatment.
In the early hours of 13 November, Margaret was found collapsed and unconscious and she was rushed back to intensive care where doctors discovered that she had suffered severe brain damage as a result of dangerously low blood glucose levels.
Her family were told that the damage was irreversible and there was nothing more that could be done. She remained in intensive care until she was transferred to Primrose Hospice on 19 November where two days later, she died.
During a five-day inquest, HM Deputy Coroner for Worcestershire, Marguerite Elcock, heard how an experienced nurse failed to carry out blood tests which would have shown that Margaret’s glucose levels were not being controlled after she was admitted.
Medical law expert Sara Burns, from solicitors Irwin Mitchell, representing the family, said: ‘The inquest has been incredibly harrowing for Margaret’s family as they have heard that she was woefully let down by a number of clinicians on this ward.
‘Repeated opportunities to intervene and stabilise Margaret were missed and guidelines for blood glucose level testing were not followed to manage her diabetes. ‘NHS policies and guides are in place for a reason – to save lives, and staff across the NHS must follow these to prevent unnecessary deaths.
‘We will continue to help Margaret’s family in their battle for justice and we are now considering whether, given the evidence heard during this inquest, it is appropriate for us to refer the case to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.’
David added: ‘I believe Margaret would still be alive today if she had received the correct treatment and, although nothing will turn back the clock for us, I hope improvements have since been made to protect any other family from suffering the heartbreak we have had to endure.’
Margaret’s daughter, Samantha, added: ‘Margaret or ‘Maggie’ as she was affectionately known, was a loving mother, grandmother, sister and daughter. Her unexpected death has left a very large void in all our lives.
‘Due to a series of failures she is now unable to watch her children and grandchildren grow up and have been stripped of the chance to happily live out her retirement in her beloved chosen location of Somerset for which she had so many plans.
‘We are grateful that the inquest has provided us with some important answers regarding the circumstances of my Mum’s death, so that we as a family can have some closure after 19 long and very hard months.’
A spokesperson for Worcestershire NHS Trust said: ‘Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust would like to offer sincere condolences to Mrs Pitt’s family following the death of Mrs Pitt in 2010 and a difficult week exploring those events in court.
‘The appropriate internal investigations and action have been taken according to Trust policy. The Trust has taken prompt action in relation to this event and continues to invest heavily in diabetes services both within the Trust hospitals and across county-wide community services, including leading the Think Glucose initiative regionally.
‘We accept the Deputy Coroner’s conclusions and hope that the Family of Mrs Pitt has found the detailed inquiry helpful.’
Doctors said Ashleigh was a typical lazy teenager – actually she had an aggressive form of cancer
A 17-year-old girl with a rare aggressive cancer was left undiagnosed for six months after doctors mistook her symptoms for ‘typical teenager laziness.’ A scan revealed Ashleigh Parks had a large tumour at the base of her brain and her mother Cheryl Watson, 36, was told she only had a 10 per cent chance of survival.
Her condition was so serious she was christened in hospital and her mother and stepfather Damian Parks rushed through an adoption process so that Ashleigh could officially call him ‘dad’.
Now her family are celebrating after Ashleigh finally began responding to the treatment. She is well enough to return to school although it will be four years before she is officially in remission.
Mr Parks, 28, said: ‘We always said that one day I would adopt Ashleigh but her being so ill made us get the ball rolling. ‘I am so proud to be her father officially, and not just because she has been so brave, but because she is a wonderful girl and any father would be proud to call her his daughter. ‘I was always there for her anyway, but now whatever the future holds she knows she has a dad to turn to.’
Ashleigh was just 16 when her mother first noticed she was unwell in October 2010. Cheryl said: ‘I know all teenagers like to sleep but Ashleigh was exhausted all the time. She would fall asleep straight after school. ‘She used to love shopping and ice skating with her friends but she could barely keep her eyes open to finish her tea.’
Cheryl took her daughter to see their GP but was told Ashleigh was suffering from nothing more than typical teenage laziness. Ashleigh said: ‘They just said I was a typical teenager and teenagers needed lots of sleep and not to worry.’
Unconvinced, they returned twice with the same concern only to be told the same thing and Ashleigh was prescribed iron tablets as they said she could be anaemic.
It was only in March 2011 six months after first visiting her GP when Ashleigh fell down the stairs in a sleepy daze and her mum rushed her to hospital that doctors discovered the awful truth.
An MRI scan showed a large tumour at the base of her brain and Ashleigh’s mother was told she had a very rare form of childhood cancer called ATRT. There are only a handful of cases diagnosed in the UK each year and around 30 in the U.S.
Doctors explained it was one of the fastest growing tumours with the main symptom being tiredness and lethargy.
‘I was shaking when they told me she only had a ten per cent chance of survival. For months we’d been told she was just a typical teenager and then we’re told she might not pull through.’
Cheryl went to her daughter’s bedside at the Royal Doncaster Infirmary. ‘I told her how poorly she was but she already knew. I couldn’t help breaking down as I held her.’
Two days on Ashleigh was taken to theatre for surgery to remove the tumour. But surgeons had to abandon the operation because it was too close to her brain stem. Devastatingly tests showed three more tumours the size of peas dotted down her spinal cord.
They were also too dangerous to remove so Ashleigh would need to start intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Her condition was so serious
Cheryl was advised to get her daughter baptised by the hospital chaplain. The ceremony took place in May last year. As her weight plummeted from seven stone to four stone and she was tube fed and Cheryl and Damian spent every day at her bedside. Damian even gave up his job as a plasterer to be with her every day.
When her hair fell out devoted Damian shaved his off too to make her feel better. Damian also started fundraising and took Ashleigh our in her wheelchair to keep her spirits up.
It was from her hospital bed shortly after she was baptised that Ashleigh asked Damian to adopt her. He said: ‘I was already her dad but Ashleigh wanted to make it official. ‘The next day we contacted social services and told them we needed their help quickly.’ They agreed to rush it through as quickly as possible and a few weeks on all the forms arrived.
The family went through several rounds of interviews before they received a date for the court hearing earlier this year.
Unfortunately Ashleigh was too sick to attend but Damian and Cheryl rushed straight to her hospital bedside once it was made official in March this year.
Over the next few months Ashleigh fought hard against the cancer and her family were thrilled when doctors said recently she was finally showing signs of responding to treatment against all the odds. It will be another four years until she is in remission but Ashleigh’s just pleased her hair has started growing back.
Cheryl said: ‘ She is so strong and we are so proud. She’s always been a daddy’s girl but now it’s official. ‘We want other parents to know the signs of this awful cancer because early diagnosis is crucial. ‘We were told she was just being a typical teenager when she was desperately ill with cancer. We could have lost her. Thank God we didn’t.’
UN migration chief calls on EU to force member states to be multicultural as he says Britain’s quota ‘not legal’
I am sure many Britons would have strong views on where Mr Sutherland should put his internationalist opinions
The EU should make sure that its member states are multicultural to ensure the prosperity of the union, the UN’s special representative for migration has said. Peter Sutherland also suggested the UK government’s immigration policy had no basis in international law.
He was being questioned by the Lords EU home affairs sub-committee which is investigating global migration.
Mr Sutherland, who is non-executive chairman of Goldman Sachs International and a former chairman of oil giant BP, heads the Global Forum on Migration and Development, which brings together representatives of 160 nations to share policy ideas.
He told the House of Lords committee migration was a ‘crucial dynamic for economic growth’ in some EU nations ‘however difficult it may be to explain this to the citizens of those states’.
He said that an ageing or declining native population in countries like Germany or southern EU states was the ‘key argument and, I hesitate to the use word because people have attacked it, for the development of multicultural states’.
‘It’s impossible to consider that the degree of homogeneity which is implied by the other argument can survive because states have to become more open states, in terms of the people who inhabit them. Just as the United Kingdom has demonstrated.’
In evidence to the Lords committee, he urged EU member states to work together more closely on migration policy.
He criticised the UK’s attempt to cut net migration from its current level to ‘tens of thousands’ a year through visa restrictions.
British higher education chiefs want non-EU overseas students to be exempt from migration statistics and say visa restrictions brought in to help the government meet its target will damage Britain’s economic competitiveness.
Mr Sutherland, who has attended meetings of The Bilderberg Group, a top level international networking organisation often criticised for its alleged secrecy, called on EU states to stop targeting ‘highly skilled’ migrants, arguing that ‘at the most basic level individuals should have a freedom of choice’ about whether to come and study or work in another country.
British PM to axe housing benefits for feckless under 25s as he declares war on welfare culture
Radical new welfare cuts targeting feckless couples who have children and expect to live on state handouts will be proposed by David Cameron tomorrow.
His bold reforms could also lead to 380,000 people under 25 being stripped of housing benefits and forced to join the growing number of young adults who still live with their parents.
In a keynote speech likely to inflame tensions with his deputy Nick Clegg, the Prime Minister will call for a debate on the welfare state, focusing on reforms to ‘working-age benefits’.
Among the ideas being considered by Mr Cameron are:
* Scrapping most of the £1.8 billion in housing benefits paid to 380,000 under-25s, worth an average £90 a week, forcing them to support themselves or live with their parents.
* Stopping the £70-a-week dole money for the unemployed who refuse to try hard to find work or produce a CV.
* Forcing a hardcore of workshy claimants to do community work after two years on the dole – or lose all their benefits.
Well-placed sources say Ministers are also taking a fresh look at plans to limit child benefit to a couple’s first three children, although Mr Cameron is not expected to address this issue directly tomorrow.
Speaking exclusively to The Mail on Sunday, Mr Cameron said: ‘We are sending out strange signals on working, housing and families.’
He argued that some young people lived with their parents, worked hard, planned ahead and got nothing from the State, while others left home, made little effort to seek work and got a home paid for by the benefits system.
‘A couple will say, “We are engaged, we are both living with our parents, we are trying to save before we get married and have children and be good parents. But how does it make us feel, Mr Cameron, when we see someone who goes ahead, has the child, gets the council home, gets the help that isn’t available to us?”’
‘One is trapped in a welfare system that discourages them from working, the other is doing the right thing and getting no help.’
Asked if he would take action against large families who were paid large sums in benefits, he replied:
‘This is a difficult area but it is right to pose questions about it. At the moment the system encourages people not to work and have children, but we should help people to work AND have children.’
His plan to axe housing benefit for the under-25s will have exemptions for special cases, such as domestic violence, but he said: ‘We are spending nearly £2 billion on housing benefit for under-25s – a fortune. We need a bigger debate about welfare and what we expect of people. The system currently sends the signal you are better off not working, or working less.’
He also favours new curbs on the Jobseeker’s Allowance, demanding the unemployed do more to find work. He said: ‘We aren’t even asking them, “Have you got a CV ready to go?” ’ A small minority of hardcore workshy, an estimated 5,000 to 10,000, could be forced to take part in community work if they fail or refuse to find work or training after two years.
The Prime Minister wants to show he is committed to radical policies, but his speech could exacerbate strains with Coalition partner Mr Clegg, whose Lib Dems oppose drastic welfare cuts.
It follows the row over plans to revive O-levels and will fuel rumours the Coalition could end long before the 2015 Election. ‘As leader of a political party as well as running a Coalition it’s right sometimes to make a more broad-ranging speech,’ said Mr Cameron.
A Government official said: ‘Decent folk are fed up with the increasing abuse of the welfare system. Responsible people who work damned hard, often on low incomes, to support themselves, are sick and tired of seeing others do nothing and live off the state.
‘Labour threw ever greater sums of money at the problem and made it worse. If we want to encourage responsibility we have be bold enough to tackle these issues. We suspect some of those who refuse point-blank to seek work are working on the black market and claiming fraudulently.’
But a Labour source said: ‘It is easy for rich Tories with big houses to have grown-up children at home while they find their feet. It’s different if you live in a tiny council flat and your daughter is a single mum.’ Ministers said curbs on housing benefit for the under-25s, had helped slash the welfare bill in Germany and Holland
Unfit, scruffy, high-handed and corrupt: Britain’s worst police need fixing – and if it takes a railwayman to get them back on track, so be it
A once exemplary police force lies in ruins after 13 years of constant Leftist “reforms”. Getting it back on track will not be easy
Tom Windsor is the man who will be undertaking a radical shake-up ofpolicing, if the Home Secretary gets her way. On Tuesday Mr Winsor will be grilled by the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee on his application for the £200,000-a-year post of Chief Inspector of Constabulary.
The former rail regulator is a brave choice – as he would be the first civilian in the post. Previous incumbents have almost always been former chief constables.
But where they may have succumbed to the temptation to go easy on their former colleagues, Mr Winsor might be less reticent.
Of course, he does not know policing like a former chief officer with more than 30 years’ policing experience, so, Tom, here are a few suggestions .
1. Look Like Business
The police are far more likely to gain the respect of the public – law-abiding and criminal alike – if they look like they mean business.
A scruffy officer who climbs out of a Smart car with no cap or helmet to distinguish them from a traffic warden is hardly likely to strike fear into the hearts of hooligans or command authority when dealing with the public.
Image is important and yet police leaders have let standards slip, preferring not to take on those who look a disgrace in their uniform.
And they are always looking for the cheap option when it comes to police vehicles. When I was a constable and we roared up in our Rover 3500 with creases in our trousers, clean boots and caps in place, people took notice. It made us feel confident and it gave the public confidence in us.
2. Be Fit For Purpose
Recruits are tested to see if they are fit enough to become constables – then are never fitness tested again. This is a nonsense when police careers can last up to 40 years.
Too many officers are more likely to catch a cold than catch a criminal because they are unfit.
The Police Federation has always argued that if there are to be compulsory fitness tests, officers should be able to keep fit in work time. But companies do not allow their workers time off to keep fit. Maybe some senior officers are worried they might fail the test.
3. Serve The Law-Abiding
Many of the problems confronting the police are caused by bad attitudes, whether it’s high-handed traffic officers lording it over motorists or response-team officers dealing with their tenth burglary of the day who show no compassion for the victims.
The minority who are unprofessional undo all the good work done by the majority of officers. Too much concentration on league tables has resulted in not enough effort being put into providing a high-quality service.
4. Iron Out Corruption
In the mid-Seventies there was a surge in recruitment and standards slipped. Ten years later, as some of these officers began investigating serious crime, we saw cases where officers stole drugs, invented evidence and were paid by criminals to sabotage cases. The Metropolitan Police was forced to set-up an anti-corruption unit. We are approaching ten years since the last surge in recruitment and the police need to prevent a repetition.
Taking action would be seen as an admission of a problem that some senior officers would rather deny.
5. Put The Public First
The Chief Inspector of Constabulary chairs the Senior Appointments Panel that vets applicants for the most senior ranks in the police.
On his advice, the Home Secretary appoints the two most senior police officers, the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.
Currently police chiefs who put their communities first and Home Office directives second are likely to come off worse. Mr Winsor has a golden opportunity to ensure those who put the public first get promoted.
6. Prioritise Serious Crime
Police success to a great extent is measured by the overall number of crimes solved as a proportion of the total committed in their area.
Minor crimes that are easier to solve, such as shoplifting, count just as much under the existing system as solving a complex rape case.
This gives the police an incentive to concentrate on those ones that are easy to solve rather than the ones that are important to victims. Crimes need to be ‘weighted’ so that solving a complex and serious crime counts more than a minor case.
The overall detection rate will go down, which politicians won’t like, but it will focus minds on the crimes that really matter to the public.
7. Care About Victims
In some cases, particularly rape, the victim refuses to relive the ordeal by giving evidence in court. Many victims simply want to be believed and taken seriously by the police and given appropriate care.
Unless the police get a conviction, however, they don’t score a point on the performance league table and so they tend to write off cases where the victim is reluctant to go to court. Overall satisfaction with the police needs to be taken as seriously as the conviction rates.
8. Tackle Drug Abuse
A drugs offence is recorded only if someone is arrested. The more action the police take, the worse the problem looks, something neither politicians nor police chiefs want. But problem drug users, who need money to fund their addiction, commit a lot of burglary and car crime. The proportion of criminals testing positive for drugs, complaints of ‘crack houses’, and drug-dealing must all be recorded, as measures of tackling problem drug use.
9. Work When Needed
The shift system does not put most officers on duty when the demand for police services is at its highest. Community officers often work Tuesday mornings when most people are at work and response teams are often on duty on Sunday mornings when most troublemakers are at home nursing hangovers. The times of day when crimes occur need to be analysed and officer numbers should be matched to the demand.
10. Put Feet On The Street
Increasing numbers of officers are being used in specialist and plain-clothes squads, leaving fewer officers to respond to emergencies and to carry out community policing. Police effectiveness relies on the support and co-operation of the public and if the police do not respond when we call them or we never see them on the street, we are going to stop calling them.
It’s time to get back to basics and put feet on the street.
Michelle Rhee gives Britain some advice
Britain’s system of holding schools to account for student learning has been of interest to many of us in the US education reform movement for years. So before my visit to the UK this week, I spent some time studying England’s national curriculum and examining the rich data that’s now available to parents. Without a doubt, we have much to learn from the UK when it comes to transparency, accountability and setting common standards.
But I also see opportunities to share lessons from America, particularly with regards to expanding educational options and creating a grassroots movement to transform schools so they work well for all children – not just for some.
Both our countries have enormous gaps between the academic achievement levels of disadvantaged students and their wealthier peers. And far too many students leave school without the skills or knowledge they need to succeed at university or in the workforce.
Sadly, there is no single policy or decision that will bring about the change our schools need on its own. I can, however, point to an approach to policy-making that is holding our children back. It is the tendency in schools to pursue policies that put adult interests ahead of student needs. Textbook manufacturers, testing companies and teaching unions all have tremendous resources to ensure their views are heard and priorities are met. It’s an advantage kids simply don’t have.
Among the policies that directly affect student outcomes are how we evaluate and compensate teachers. Studies prove that teacher quality is the most important factor in school that impacts student learning. Yet many of our policies simply don’t reflect the significance of the profession.
When I became the chancellor of Washington DC’s schools in 2007, a mere 8 per cent of eighth-grade students were doing maths at their proper grade level, yet 95 per cent of teachers got satisfactory evaluations. As our kids were failing, we were saying, “Well done, good job” to the adults educating them.
We managed to reform the system, though not without a fight, so teachers would be evaluated in a fair but rigorous way, based on classroom observations, student progress and other measures. We have to know who is succeeding, who needs help and who, unfortunately, is not up to the job of teaching. Removing ineffective teachers from the classroom is far too difficult in both of our systems, and we have to tackle this urgently.
Another issue we addressed involves how we pay teachers. In the US and the UK, teachers are paid in lockstep, earning increases for factors not necessarily linked to student learning, such as time served. In Washington, we were able to implement a system where excellence was rewarded.
Expanding the educational options should also be part of any reform. In the US, we have experienced an increase in public charter schools which, like free schools or academies here, operate with more flexibility and tend to serve as models of innovation. I urge policy-makers to let such models flourish.
Finally, we can’t even think about delivering a great education to children if we don’t consider how we manage our schools financially. Crucially, school leaders must be given more flexibility to manage their resources in ways they believe will work in exchange for demonstrating results.
I know change is hard, but wholesale change is what we need. Fifty years ago, America’s civil rights leaders challenged our country to create a more fair and just society. Today, their hard-fought victories are evident, even in the White House. But that story is not yet finished. Good and bad schools still exist and a child’s skin colour, post code and family income are often still predictive of their academic success.
I’m not saying progress isn’t being made. It definitely is. Witness the desire on the part of so many Americans to challenge the status quo. President Obama has pushed for policies that most other leaders in the Democratic Party have shied away from for fear of the teachers’ unions. And perhaps even more importantly, at the grassroots level, parents, students, community leaders and teachers are tackling the most difficult problems. In California, campaigners have sparked a national effort to empower parents with real tools and authority to turn around chronically failing schools. And in Cleveland, Ohio, parents, faith leaders and local officials recently banded together to insist that city schools be freed from rigid state laws that were impeding improvement.
These signs demonstrate that families and communities are tired of a system that has failed them and want to see real reforms enacted that put students first.
Why unruly British pupils no longer feel the wrath of the head: Half are never sent to their office when they misbehave
Half of secondary school teachers never send unruly pupils to the head’s office despite concerns over discipline problems in the country’s classrooms, a Government commissioned survey shows.
They do not force youngsters to get a reprimand from a senior member of staff and apologise for their misbehaviour – a sanction that used to strike fear into most pupils.
Seventeen per cent of primary school teachers admit they do not bother using this form of discipline.
Across both sectors, one in three teachers (32 per cent) never send students to the head’s office while sixty-four per cent only ‘sometimes’ do this.
Critics say the National Foundation for Education Research study, commissioned by the Department for Education, suggests a ‘lax’ approach to discipline is being taken by too many teachers.
They warn that some politically correct staff will not discipline youngsters because they do not want to prevent them from expressing themselves. Others are afraid of standing up to troublemakers due to repercussions.
The failure to take a hard line on discipline comes despite pressure from the Government to crackdown on badly behaved pupils.
Ofsted figures show that 21.6 per cent of maintained schools inspected between January and March this year were rated just ‘satisfactory’ or ‘inadequate’ over behaviour and safety of pupils.
The NFER surveyed over 1,600 teachers and discovered that 36 per cent never shout at pupils who misbehave – 42 per cent in primary schools and 28 per cent in secondary schools.
Sixty per cent never use detention – 94 per cent in primary schools and 13 per cent in secondary schools.
Some teachers also appear to be ignoring a new ‘checklist’ that was issued by the Government’s behaviour tsar, Charlie Taylor, last October to help crackdown on indiscipline.
In a key move, it told staff to display all school rules – and a list of sanctions – clearly in each classroom to help establish proper boundaries.
However, the survey which was undertaken in February shows that 25 per cent of teachers in primary and secondary schools only use this strategy ‘sometimes’ and nine per cent ‘never’ do this.
Other recommendations are being flouted across both sectors. Fourteen per cent ‘sometimes’ have a system in place to ‘follow through with all sanctions’ while one per cent ‘never’ does this.
Thirty six per cent ‘sometimes’ have a plan for children who are likely to misbehave and three per cent ‘never’ come up with one.
Eighteen per cent in total ‘sometimes’ or ‘never’ use a reward system and around nine per cent are equally non-committed to praising the behaviour they want to see more of.
Thirty-four per cent ‘sometimes’ give feedback to parents about their child’s behaviour – whether good or bad – while one per cent ‘never’ do this.
Overall, 19 per cent said behaviour was ‘acceptable’ in their schools, five per cent said it was ‘poor’ and one per cent admitted it was ‘very poor’. Seventy six per cent said behaviour was ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
But three out of five (60 per cent) of staff surveyed believed that ‘negative pupil behaviour is driving teachers out of the profession’.
Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at Buckingham University, said that some teachers remain afraid of ‘pupil power’. He said: ‘Clearly, teachers are being lax in demanding good behaviour.
‘Many of them were taught in training colleges that they need to look at children on their own terms and see poor behaviour as just children expressing themselves.
‘Teachers have also been nervous of demanding good behaviour and imposing sanctions because they run the risk of complaints from the pupil and his or her parents.
‘They could find themselves up before the head teacher or the local authority. Even if the complaints are later dismissed, it could blight their careers.
‘As much as they have been assured by the Government that they’re right to employ sanctions, nevertheless they fear that’s not the case when it comes to day to day life in their schools.’
Mr Taylor, the Government’s expert adviser on behaviour, said: ‘Without good behaviour teachers can’t teach and pupils can’t learn.
‘We need to ensure trainee teachers are equipped with the right training in behaviour management.’
Schools Minister Nick Gibb added: ‘The Government is committed to maintaining our relentless focus on raising standard of behaviour in schools until every school is a safe and happy place in which pupils can excel academically.’