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Behaviour Policies - what works, what doesn't....

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by GladRagsAtMidnight2017, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. GladRagsAtMidnight2017

    GladRagsAtMidnight2017 Occasional commenter

    .....and what would you change if you were in charge!

    I'm really interested to just hear what happens in other members schools; I work in a Primary so particularly interested in that.

    If you're in a Secondary, do you think Primary schools prepare Year6's for Secondary school regarding behaviour expectations?
  2. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    A good question here. Behaviour policies (or lack thereof!) are hot topics at the moment!

    I am a secondary teacher and on the whole, I don't feel Year 7 are ready for secondary school expectations. I don't think the responsibility for this should be with primary teachers though. Schools I have worked in haven't had a sufficient transition time in the first half term, in my opinion and often simply use rolling tutor teams. This means a tutor finished in July with 16 year olds used to the school and comes back in September to face 30 uncertain 11 year olds. I think it works better when there is a dedicated year 7 team who are trained and experienced in being tutors for this transition time.

    Often primary children have had a lot of support in class, opportunities to be taken out by another adult, and no unsupervised time. Secondary schools simply can't offer the same level of 1:1 and when a child is removed from a class, it is immediately punitive, rather than an chance to calm down and start again. Over time, this does happen but as communication is often not that great between the primary and secondary schools, it takes a few months. By this time, the child is already 'in trouble' and it can be tricky to get back on a positive track.

    On the more general topic of behaviour policies, you will find a lot of varying opinions on this forum as people have had such different experiences in their own classrooms and schools.

    My experience is that the 'tough' schools I worked in had stringent policies, clear lines of escalation and dedicated SLT members to follow up and deal with incidents. I felt supported as a teacher and able to get on with teaching despite some quite serious behaviour issues. There was an on-call button that was quickly responded to by SLT and the child removed. I then had to meet that child later in the same day to discuss, try to resolve or agree what the consequence would be. SLT were very involved and usually supportive. I felt that because they recognised that the possible consequences of not being 'on top' of behaviour were serious, they took it seriously and committed time and resources towards it.

    However, now I have taught in a few rural schools where the possible consequences are less serious (by this I mean, it's constant low level disruption and disrespect, rather than violence and less predictability), there is complacency. There is no clear behaviour policy, no involvement of parents, no phone policy, on-call is not prioritised so not always answered. This has made my classrooms far less pleasant. It is a constant battle to actually teach and I feel the children are learning significantly less. Of course, I take the main responsibility for getting my own classes under control but am also happy to acknowledge that I need support and I need my own actions to be supported by SLT otherwise nothing actually changes.

    To me behaviour policies need to:
    - have clear lines of consequence ie you do X, this happens
    - be consistently applied across the school
    - be shared with children and parents, signed and then all parties involved when there are issues
    - be clear about phones, headphones, uniform and actually followed up on
    - be supported by SLT fully
    - clamp down on low level disruption which is the bane of education

    What do the rest of you think?

    You might be interested in this thread too:
    Bumptious and pepper5 like this.
  3. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    I also think there MUST be an option of after school detentions and isolation rooms. The isolation room must be run in complete silence and work insisted upon. Teachers have to have the option of removing a child when they are making it impossible to teach the other 29.

    Parents must also be forced to take responsibility, to come into the school and be involved. I know from experience how tricky this is with some parents but for the bulk of kids, their parents being called at work and forced to come into the school doesn't have to happen many times! Then the school can work more on those reluctant parents.
    pepper5 likes this.

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