Secondary school is often perceived as the most important stage in a student’s education life, mainly because it provides them with a defining path towards a successful career. It also can be used as a measure to compare how students in grammar schools, who would have passed the 11+ examinations, compare against those who could not make the cut. This particular article will focus on one of the key values of any successful career namely ‘discipline’ and ‘good behaviour’.

Behaviour at grammar schools is on average significantly better than in secondary modern schools for a number of reasons. This can range from student background, perception, circle of friends, ethical conduct rules to regulations at schools. It goes without saying that good collective behaviour of students is a prerequisite to a high quality learning experience.

Children who would have passed the 11+ examinations would have demonstrated a degree of dedication and discipline to achieve what they achieved, which is why they are more likely to cooperate with teachers when requested. This is by far more difficult to achieve in non-selective schools, where the spectrum of students is much wider, some requiring special attention due to family issues, some are disadvantaged for medical reasons and some are simply aggressive in nature. It is for that reason that non-selective schools tend to have more funding to manage those specific students with special circumstances.

What studies have shown is that students in comprehensive secondary schools, where students are not selected based on entrance exams, tend to be by far more likely to be excluded from school, mainly due to disciplinary issues including school fights, regular disturbance during lessons without willingness to cooperate with teachers or other serious form of misconduct. The major concern here is that those with good behaviour at non-selective schools are mostly the affected ones and that is why Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills) rates these schools and provides clear guidance on areas of improvement such as ‘Student behaviour’. It is also up to the schools themselves to have programs in place to guide the students where possible (i.e. in form of one to one mentors or behaviour support teams). The most important input understandably comes from the student themselves.

Student perception is also a key aspect to evaluate school’s behaviours. Students in grammar schools tend to be more disciplined, also because there is a low level of tolerance to bad behaviour, in comparison to other schools meaning that the scrutiny on behaviour and values are more pronounced early on and on a regular basis. Bad behaviour such as use of bad language, are tackled with a higher level of impact than normal secondary schools.