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Dilemma: Following the school's behaviour policy and being notified the exits is too high

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Turqoise20, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. Hello,

    I’m also an RQT who moved to a new school in September. Some pupils in my Y8 and Y9 classes like to say something then the rest gangs up or joins the class into discussing a random topic. It is then hard to get their attention back and for them to be listening.

    My problem is, I have been told off for having one of the highest number of exits in the department. This has made me really upset today and it made me feel like the worst teacher in my department. I have actually exited less amount of pupils in this school than my previous school I had worked at. I follow the school’s behaviour policy, which is one warning then an exit. When I started at this school, they said that consistency is the key to securing a positive learning environment. This has worked for most of my classes. I tried other ways to not directly exit the pupil whenever I can such as moving their seat elsewhere or talking to them outside, but sometimes they are just being really disruptive, so I exit them.

    It has been the same pupils that I have exited and other departments have also exited the same pupils for causing LLD. However, I was told that if the number of exits remains high then it reflects badly on me and that my behaviour management is not good enough. I work in a school where most teachers in my department have been there for at least 5 years, and who have been in the profession for 10-15 years, so they rarely exit. I am the youngest in the department and I was told that I need to work on it as it doesn’t look good to keep exiting pupils. I really want to work on this too, but I am struggling with finding new ways to deal with their behaviour.

    I only exited pupils if they have chosen to be disruptive and carry on with their behaviour despite the warning or the silent talk outside, as I can see that their behaviour is interrupting and slowing down the learning of the whole class. I understand that the learning of the exited pupil will be affected, but I would rather have the whole class learn than let one pupil affect the learning of the whole class. It is unfair for the class to suffer.

    It makes me think that they shouldn’t have had chosen a one warning then exit school behaviour policy, if they don’t want teachers to use it. I thought that the school behaviour policy should help teachers, but why does it feel like they don’t want me to use it anymore? My school is going to be OFSTED soon as well so I don’t know whether that plays into account. The kids in my school are generally well behaved. It’s just a handful who mess about in a sly manner and gets exited multiple times.

    How should I deal with this? What else can I do to avoid exits? And how should I respond to the SLT if they query my exits?

    Thank you for reading this long post. I appreciate it.
  2. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    I suppose it depends on who 'told you off'. Was it:
    • a member of SLT who'd rather sit in his nice, comfy office?
      Such lazy ones will wreck the behaviour policy and you'll be one of the early victims.
    • a member of SLT who is out and about on corridors, helping with behaviour?
      Unless you think you'd get somewhere by asking him for assistance with Behaviour Management, you're best accepting that you and school don't fit.
    • Your HoD?
      He should be offering solutions not just saying, "This is wrong"
    • The poor teacher who ends up with all your exits, cluttering up their classroom? (you haven't said where exitees end up)
      Tricky one this, you need to befriend them rather than just avoid them on corridors etc.
    • A friend/mentor offering advice rather ineptly
      "Someone has to be the teacher with the most exits, I'm following the behaviour policy as I was instructed to do"
    All this is internal politics, not something that your training has prepared you for. Is there anyone who you trust in the school that can advise you on how to navigate this minefield? It is certainly possible to do so, given that a lot of teachers have been there a long time.

    OFSTED always is...…
    There may be some mileage in pointing out that if the Behaviour Policy is flawed then OFSTED will be on it very quickly, but who do you point that out to and how? Internal politics again.

    Sorry this is far too negative but a school with a lot of established staff must have some qualities and be worth hanging in there for.
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    I would book an appointment with whoever has mentioned this to you and discuss
    Enquire what the consequences/next steps are for pupils who are repeatedly exited. Are these being carried out and followed up at a higher level with the pupils
    Again, say this to the person who has discussed this with you. What do they suggest? Explain what you already do what else can you do?
    (and btw, just because others don’t exit doesn’t mean they don’t have problems, they’ve just been ‘spoken to’ already. It’s easy to lower exits - just lower your standards.)
    Are they suggesting you should lower your standards and expectations ?
    Again, point out that you are following their behaviour policy. What next? Are the next steps being followed through?

    Remember, in all of this, the responsibility lies with the student to behave. It’s not your fault. The key point (which seems to have been forgotten here) is not ‘the statistics’ or lowering exits but attaining good learning behaviour. I think you should subtly point this out.
    JohnJCazorla and roman_eagle like this.

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