DISRUPTION is getting worse in Scotland's primary schools with teachers blaming pupil exposure to trolling on social media and poor parenting.

A survey of school staff found low level disruption in primaries - such as talking out of turn, interfering with other pupils and avoiding work - increased between 2012 and 2016.

Teachers also highlighted a deterioration in manners and greater defiance from pupils.

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The 2016 Behaviour in Scottish Schools research by Ipsos MORI Scotland said teachers felt the increasing use of digital technology and changes in relationships between parents and children were responsible.

However, the report said positive behaviour continued to be the norm with incidents of serious disruptive behaviour rare.

The report states: "Teachers and support staff thought the level of respect pupils held for others, including teachers, had diminished over time.

"One common explanation was that inappropriate language and disrespectful treatment of others on social media has increased, and this type of behaviour has therefore been normalised in society.

"It was suggested that young people’s exposure to this means they are less able to determine the correct way to interact with others."

Another explanation given by teachers and support staff was poor pupil attitudes were due to some parents not modelling "respectful behaviour" for their children.

The report said: "Both teaching and support staff felt some parents would assume that an incident has happened as a result of something the school has done rather than their child. This was linked to a wider societal blame culture."

Digital technology was also blamed for pupils facing greater isolation than in the past "because they spend more time alone and unsupervised, often using digital technology, rather than spending time face-to-face with friends or family.

"This means that they do not have the opportunity to develop the type of social skills needed to effectively interact with their peers and with adults."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said the poll showed most pupils were well behaved, but added: “We want all our children and young people to behave in a respectful manner towards their peers and staff, and will continue to support our schools to promote positive relationships among pupils.”