Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Truancy rise blamed on ‘boring and irrelevant’ lessons

The Independent – and Telegraph – carry stories about Ofsted research into the reasons for truancy.  Here’s the Independent:

Ofsted inspectors studied the performance of 31 secondary schools in depth and found that the main reason given by pupils for skipping lessons was that they found the teaching dull and unstimulating, had difficulty getting on with particular teachers or catching up with work if they had been away. Many also said they did not believe what they were being taught was relevant to their needs in the outside world.

You can find the Ofsted report on this here.

Reading the reports in the papers I was reminded of research that we covered in November last year, which said:

In sum, arenas such as citizenship, PSHE and key skills would seem to be important to pupils – although not generally for their cross-curricular value, but rather useful as distinct topics themselves. The pupils themselves suggest that relevance might be increased by considering who delivers the curriculum (e.g. the PSHE curriculum – professionals in the field).

At the time we said:

This research suggests that if schools fall back to just dolling out information about drugs without putting that information in a proper context for learning there is the potential to loose the interest of pupils. The research points out:

  • Pupils enjoy subjects and activities where the curriculum involves learning that is active, participatory and has practical application.

I guess we’re now finding out what happens if learning doesn’t engage pupils.

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One Response

  1. Nothing to do with lack of discipline either in the home or class room then?

    I suspect that the majority of kids find school boring and play truant; I certainly did, along with many of other kids my age. The principle difference then was for those of us who got caught, retribution was swift and sure, it acted as a deterrent to all but the most wilful

    Given the numerous years that have passed since then it certainly had nothing to do with drugs, we hadn’t even heard of them.

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