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School staff raise concerns about pupils' viewing habits

31/03/2009 Joanna
School staff have raised concerns about the impact that watching certain television programmes can have on the behaviour of their pupils.

According to a survey conducted by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), 86 per cent of teachers believe that viewing habits can negatively affect children's conduct.

The union surveyed almost 800 people in teaching jobs, 66 per cent of whom believed that reality show Big Brother had the biggest detrimental influence on pupils.

Comedy sketch show Little Britain and long-running BBC soap Eastenders were also cited as potentially damaging to children's behaviour.

Those in teaching jobs suggested that pupils both mimicked their favourite programmes and used inappropriate languages as a result of having watched them.

"[School staff] report that more and more pupils believe the violence depicted on television and computer and video games is cool, heroic and something that they want to emulate," noted ATL general secretary Dr Mary Bousted.

The impact of television on pupils' behaviour will be discussed at the union's annual conference, which takes place in Liverpool next month.
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