A task force, which has been looking into the work environment of the country’s elementary schools has found that students are becoming increasingly worse behaved, reports RÚV.
Icelandic teachers have complained about increasing stress at work and that a more diverse group of students has made teaching more complicated.
Diversity bringing challenges
“A lot of support programmes that used to be in place have been removed and we see hints that behaviour is not becoming better, but in fact worse and we are receiving many students from other countries some of whom with a difficult past,” said teacher representative for Reykjavík Rósa Ingvarsdóttir. “Therefore, the students are becoming more diverse and we need more solutions to help them as much as we want.
According to Skúli Helgason, director of schools and after-school programmes for Reykjavík, many factors including interviews with teachers and research show that behaviour problems are increasing.
“We also see that schools like Brúarskóli–which handles kids the most serious behavioural problems–are receiving more applications,” Skúli said. “More and more want to enrol and the situation of kids there becomes more difficult every year.”
Spending longer in temporary solutions
Today, children are spending longer in special schools, which were originally meant as a temporary solution, where the most serious behavioural problems would be dealt with.
“There kids have received a very goal oriented and intensive treatment, before being allowed to return to their regular school,” Skúli said. “But now they are staying there longer than before.”
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