Speeches recovered from the Conservative party’s online archive More…

Graham: Teachers need support to tackle unruly pupils

Speech to the National Assembly for Wales.

"In proposing these amendments, I acknowledge that pupil behaviour and discipline is a wide-ranging subject and extends beyond the school gate and outside school hours.

Almost every action taken by children of school age is referred back to the school that they attend. Whether children are representing their country at sport or participating in anti-social behaviour on a Saturday night, whether they are well behaved or causing a nuisance, the school is always mentioned. I quote headmaster Dewi Jones, who said yesterday,

'It is very, very unfortunate that this incident happened on a school bus and that the school has been dragged into this as this incident is nothing to do with the school itself.'

That was after two pupils from his school were questioned by police concerning an assault on a driver of a school bus.

Recent events in my own constituency have shown that the effects of pupil behaviour can span decades.

A 23-year-old lady has been compensated for being bullied between the ages of four and 11 while attending a school in Torfaen. That relates to actions that began almost 20 years ago.

People might think that the system is working if a person gains compensation for being bullied at school, but they would be wrong. For every person who has the strength to raise the injustice, there are many who are too afraid to be counted.

The system fails these people and, as technology advances, the number of areas in which the system could fail to protect them increases. There are too many suicides that are possibly linked to bullying in school.

The Conservative group has tabled 10 amendments to this motion, which illustrate the wide scope of behaviour and discipline in schools. Minister, you will be aware of the answer that you gave to my question on school discipline last November, when you stated,

'Schools already have a substantial number of powers to ensure that, if a child is affecting other children's learning, he or she can be removed as appropriate from the classroom'.

I propose that you extend these powers outside the classroom and school hours whenever necessary, where your legal powers allow.

We have acknowledged the need for greater supervision and safety measures on school transport systems and we have supported the need for pupils on a school bus, away from the school, to be subject to a recognised code of school discipline.

The Bill before Parliament will put disciplinary powers in schools beyond challenge by setting down the rights of teachers to confiscate property, place pupils in detention and use force to restrain violent pupils.

Clause 154 of the Bill contains the framework of powers relating to Wales. We must ensure that the widest powers within this framework are applied.

We need to acknowledge the words of Steve Sinnot, the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, who said that

'To enshrine a teacher's right to discipline pupils in law will reinforce the message to parents and the wider community that schools are safe and secure places of learning.

Extending that right to the streets and public transport will underline to pupils that good behaviour is expected everywhere.'

That begins by enforcing basic rules. For example, if school rules state that children must not use mobile phones, teachers must be reassured that they have the right to confiscate mobile phones until the end of the school day. The support of this right must extend to parents.

We need to strengthen the commitment to parenting contracts and incorporate appropriate action against parents who fail to acknowledge their child discipline responsibilities.

Parenting orders should only be used as a final resort and the Minister should indicate interim measures to allow parents, schools and pupils to work in partnership to improve school behaviour.

The Minister must also make it clear that although the costs of initiating parenting orders is borne by local education authorities, they will be fully compensated for all of the costs that they incur, and not just according to a Wales average.

The Conservative group believes that teaching citizenship that not only educates pupils about their rights, but also engenders responsibility for living a healthy lifestyle and respect for the equal rights of other people, for property, and for the neighbourhood environment, will allow for better school discipline.

We note with concern that one of the arguments used to promote free school breakfasts was that it encouraged children from deprived areas to attend school and enjoy a balanced, nutritious meal. Sadly, the latest figures indicate higher rates of truancy in primary and secondary schools in the areas where pupils receive free school meals.

We note with concern the gender gap in relation to school discipline and attainment. In doing so, we must be aware that there are other gaps that indicate that the system may also be failing pupils from ethnic minorities and other cultures. We need to ensure that we address all inequalities in our school systems.

We have all been appalled by the increase in the number of incidents of so-called 'happy slapping'—acts of bullying, violence and serious sexual assault recorded on mobile phone cameras. Teachers must know that they will be fully supported not only if they confiscate property, but also if they need to bring such actions to the attention of the police.

This technology also allows bullies virtual access into their victims' homes. Children can no longer close the door of their house, and be secure in the sanctuary of their own home. Text and e-mail messages penetrate home security, leaving victims with no place of safety or relief from being bullied.

We are aware that most, if not all, schools, as the Minister will confirm, now have bullying policies, but their implementation can sometimes sadly leave much to be desired. We also require strong condemnation of assaults on teachers and other school staff.

School discipline must extend into wider personal care, and we acknowledge the increasing levels of alcohol consumption among teenagers, the ease of access to drugs, and that Wales has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy and abortion in Europe. We believe that the balanced teaching of citizenship will assist in addressing these issues.

We all wish schools to be safe and secure places of learning. To achieve this, we must come to terms with many factors that influence behaviour. Many of these factors are sourced from outside the school, but have the greatest impact within the classroom.

In proposing these amendments, I ask you to note the width of this issue and the responsibilities of the wider community to promote better behaviour from our children. I ask the Minister to include the measures outlined in the amendments within the framework of the Bill as it will be applied to Wales."

"Wrth gynnig y gwelliannau hyn, cydnabyddaf fod ymddygiad disgyblion a disgyblaeth yn bwnc eang sy'n ymestyn y tu hwnt i gât yr ysgol ac y tu allan i oriau ysgol.

Caiff bron pob gweithred a wneir gan blant o oedran ysgol ei gyfeirio yn ôl at yr ysgol a fynychir ganddynt. Pa un a yw plant yn cynrychioli eu gwlad ym myd chwaraeon neu'n cymryd rhan mewn ymddygiad gwrthgymdeithasol ar nos Sadwrn, pa un a ydynt yn ymddwyn yn dda neu'n achosi niwsans, crybwyllir yr ysgol bob amser. Dyfynnaf y pennaeth Dewi Jones, a ddywedodd ddoe,

Mae'n hynod, hynod anffodus i'r digwyddiad hwn ddigwydd ar fws ysgol ac i'r ysgol gael ei chrybwyll gan nad yw'r digwyddiad hwn yn ymwneud â'r ysgol ei hun o gwbl.

Yr oedd hynny ar ôl i'r heddlu holi dau ddisgybl o'i ysgol ynglyn ag ymosodiad ar yrrwr bws ysgol.

Mae digwyddiadau diweddar yn fy etholaeth fy hun wedi dangos y gall effeithiau ymddygiad disgyblion rychwantu degawdau. Talwyd iawndal i ferch 23 oed am iddi gael ei bwlio pan oedd rhwng pedair ac 11 oed tra'n mynychu ysgol yn Nhor-faen.

Mae hynny'n ymwneud â gweithredoedd a ddechreuodd bron 20 mlynedd yn ôl. Efallai fod pobl yn credu bod y system yn gweithio os yw person yn cael iawndal am gael ei fwlio yn yr ysgol, ond byddai'r bobl hynny yn anghywir. Am bob person sy'n magu'r hyder i godi'r anghyfiawnder, mae llawer sy'n rhy ofnus i gael eu cyfrif.

Mae'r system yn methu'r bobl hyn ac, wrth i dechnoleg ddatblygu, mae nifer y meysydd y gallai'r system fethu â'u diogelu yn cynyddu. Mae gormod o hunanladdiadau sydd o bosibl yn gysylltiedig â bwlio yn yr ysgol.

Mae'r grwp Ceidwadol wedi llunio tabl o 10 o welliannau i'r cynnig hwn, sy'n dangos cwmpas eang ymddygiad a disgyblaeth mewn ysgolion. Weinidog, fe fyddwch yn ymwybodol o'r ateb a roddwyd gennych i'm cwestiwn ar ddisgyblaeth mewn ysgolion fis Tachwedd diwethaf, pan ddywedasoch,

Mae gan ysgolion nifer sylweddol o bwerau eisoes i sicrhau, os yw plentyn yn effeithio ar ddysgu plant eraill, y gellir ei symud o'r dosbarth fel y bo'n briodol.

Cynigiaf y dylech ymestyn y pwerau hyn y tu allan i'r ystafell ddosbarth ac oriau ysgol lle bynnag y bo angen, lle bo'ch pwerau cyfreithiol yn caniatáu hynny.

Yr ydym wedi cydnabod yr angen am fwy o oruchwyliaeth a mesurau diogelwch ar systemau trafnidiaeth ysgolion ac yr ydym wedi cefnogi'r angen i ddisgyblion ar fws ysgol, i ffwrdd o'r ysgol, fod yn ddarostyngedig i god cydnabyddedig o ddisgyblaeth ysgol.

Bydd y Mesur gerbron y Senedd ynsicrhau na fydd modd herio pwerau disgyblu i ysgolion drwy bennu hawliau athrawon i atafaelu eiddo, cadw disgyblion ar ôl a defnyddio grym i ffrwyno disgyblion treisgar. Mae cymal 154 y Mesur yn cynnwys y fframwaith pwerau sy'n ymwneud â Chymru. Rhaid inni sicrhau y cymhwysir y pwerau ehangaf o fewn y fframwaith hwn.

Mae angen inni gydnabod geiriau Steve Sinnot, ysgrifennydd cyffredinol Undeb Cenedlaethol yr Athrawon, a ddywedodd

Bydd cadw hawl athro i ddisgyblu disgyblion yn unol â'r gyfraith yn atgyfnerthu'r neges i rieni a'r gymuned ehangach fod ysgolion yn fannau diogel ar gyfer dysgu.

Bydd ymestyn yr hawl honno i'r strydoedd a thrafnidiaeth gyhoeddus yn pwysleisio i ddisgyblion y disgwylir ymddygiad da ym mhobman.

Mae hynny'n dechrau drwy orfodi rheolau sylfaenol. Er enghraifft, os bydd rheolau ysgol yn nodi na ddylai plant ddefnyddio ffonau symudol, rhaid i athrawon gael tawelwch meddwl bod ganddynt yr hawl i atafaelu ffonau symudol tan ddiwedd y diwrnod ysgol. Rhaid i rieni gefnogi hyn hefyd.

Mae angen inni atgyfnerthu'r ymrwymiad i gontractau rhieni ac ymgorffori camau gweithredu priodol yn erbyn rhieni sy'n gwrthod cydnabod eu cyfrifoldebau i ddisgyblu eu plant.

Dim ond pan fetho popeth arall y dylid defnyddio gorchmynion rhianta a dylai'r Gweinidog nodi mesurau dros dro i alluogi rhieni, ysgolion a disgyblion i weithio mewn partneriaeth i wella ymddygiad mewn ysgolion.

Rhaid i'r Gweinidog hefyd egluro er mai awdurdodau addysg lleol sy'n gorfod talu am gostau rhoi gorchmynion rhianta, fe'u had-delir yn llawn am yr holl gostau yr ânt iddynt, ac nid dim ond yn unol â chyfartaledd Cymru.

Cred y grwp Ceidwadol fod addysgu dinasyddiaeth sydd nid yn unig yn addysgu disgyblion ynglyn â'u hawliau, ond sydd hefyd yn cyflwyno cyfrifoldeb am fyw ffordd o fyw iach a pharch tuag at hawliau cyfartal pobl eraill, am eiddo ac am amgylchedd y gymdogaeth, yn arwain at well disgyblaeth yn yr ysgol.

Nodwn â phryder mai un o'r dadleuon a ddefnyddiwyd i hyrwyddo brecwast ysgol am ddim oedd ei fod yn annog plant o ardaloedd difreintiedig i fynychu'r ysgol a mwynhau pryd o fwyd maethlon, cytbwys.

Yn anffodus, mae'r ffigurau diweddaraf yn nodi cyfraddau triwantiaeth uwch mewn ysgolion cynradd ac uwchradd yn yr ardaloedd lle mae plant yn derbyn prydau ysgol am ddim.

Nodwn â phryder y bwlch rhwng y rhywiau mewn perthynas â disgyblaeth a chyrhaeddiad yn yr ysgol. Drwy wneud hynny, rhaid inni fod yn ymwybodol bod bylchau eraill sy'n nodi bod y system o bosibl yn methu disgyblion o leiafrifoedd ethnig a diwylliannau eraill. Mae angen inni sicrhau ein bod yn mynd i'r afael â'r holl anghydraddoldebau yn systemau ein hysgolion.

Yr ydym oll wedi ein syfrdanu gan y cynnydd yn nifer yr achosion o 'happy slapping' fel y'u gelwir—achosion o fwlio, trais ac ymosodiadau rhywiol difrifol a gaiff eu recordio ar gamerâu ffonau symudol.

Rhaid i athrawon wybod y cânt gefnogaeth lawn nid yn unig os byddant yn atafaelu eiddo, ond hefyd os bydd angen iddynt ddwyn gweithredoedd o'r fath i sylw'r heddlu. Mae'r dechnoleg hon hefyd yn galluogi bwlis i gael mynediad rhithwir i gartrefi eu dioddefwyr.

Ni all plant gau drws eu ty mwyach a bod yn ddiogel yn eu cartrefi eu hunain. Mae negeseuon ffôn testun ac e-bost yn ymdreiddio i ddiogelwch y cartref, gan adael dioddefwyr heb unrhyw fan diogel na rhyddhad rhag cael eu bwlio.

Yr ydym yn ymwybodol bod gan y rhan fwyaf, os nad pob ysgol, bolisïau bwlio, fel y bydd y Gweinidog yn cadarnhau, ond mae'r gwaith o'u gweithredu weithiau ymhell o fod yn foddhaol. Yr ydym hefyd yn gofyn am gondemniad cadarn o ran ymosodiadau ar athrawon ac aelodau eraill o staff yr ysgol.

Rhaid i ddisgyblaeth yn yr ysgol ymestyn i ofal personol ehangach, a chydnabyddwn y lefelau cynyddol o alcohol y bydd pobl ifanc yn eu harddegau yn eu hyfed, ei bod yn hawdd cael gafael ar gyffuriau, a bod gan Gymru un o'r cyfraddau uchaf o feichiogrwydd ac erthyliad ymysg merched yn eu harddegau yn Ewrop. Credwn y bydd addysgu dinasyddiaeth yn gytbwys yn helpu i fynd i'r afael â'r materion hyn.

Yr ydym oll am i ysgolion fod yn fannau diogel ar gyfer dysgu. Er mwyn cyflawni hyn, rhaid inni dderbyn sawl ffactor sy'n dylanwadu ar ymddygiad. Mae sawl un o'r ffactorau hyn yn deillio o'r tu allan i'r ysgol, ond cânt yr effaith fwyaf yn yr ystafell ddosbarth.

Wrth gynnig y gwelliannau hyn, gofynnaf ichi nodi ehangder y mater hwn a chyfrifoldebau'r gymuned ehangach i hyrwyddo ymddygiad gwell gan ein plant. Gofynnaf i'r Gweinidog gynnwys y mesurau a amlinellir yn y gwelliannau o fewn fframwaith y Mesur fel y bydd yn cael ei gymhwyso i Gymru."

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech