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Incidents that didn?t result in a permanent exclusion

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by oldandrew, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. It is not an issue about how easy or hard I find forgiveness. I don't think we should personalise this discussion. If a defendant is found guilty in court, they judge asks what they have to say for themselves. Likewise in school I ask errant pupils what they have to say for themselves. This is not about anything I have decided but the mere application of laws of natural justice.

    When I first started asking students "what have you got to say for yourself?" I learnt a lot as a teacher and saw my mistakes. This led me to the conviction that we need to democratise schools as a vehicle to school improvement. In no way do I condone assault, but assaults in school tend to happen because young people (usually boys) feel that no-one listens to them. Eva is probably in an authoritarian school, where she isn't listened to either and it is unfair on all parties.
  2. "but assaults in school tend to happen because young people (usually boys) feel that no-one listens to them..."

    I actually agree with this statement partly. Is this statistical research? The assault where a teacher was punched in the nose was committed by a boy who the school listened to too much. The boy was constantly 'listened to' but it ended up excusing the behaviour. If you had a look at his record on that behaviour program you get on computers, it had been going on since Year 7. The first time he puched someone, he should have received a consequence that he never wanted to have again, and it would have stopped. The boy in question was intelligent and was on course for good GCSE results but had chosen a life of crime inside and outside school. He was the local thug. He was paid money to assault people outside of school. He was actually going to punch a Year 10 girl (he was Yr 11) and the teacher tried to break it up. The teacher was not listened to at all and the boy was in school the next day.

    Jamie you have wonderful ideas about ideals in teaching and of course the reasoning behind your philosophy is big hearted and basically sound. Except that some of these children (in fact the perpetrators themselves) are being failed. If we do not correct the type of gang influenced behaviour exhibited by this boy - it was an ongoing grudge that the boy used violence to try and solve - we have actually failed that student wouldn't you say? These students are actually failed by adults who listen to them and not their teachers - if SMT listened to teachers, so would the students. We do some of these students no favours by allowing the assaults they commit. They are failed by a system that indirectly condones violence. Failed by a society that does not have enough respect for its teachers. It is systemic violence at its most insidious.

    It needs to stop before a tragedy happens. It is not ok. And it is not because of teaching and learning gone wrong.

    In all schools, students should be listened to. But as someone said earlier, the only people being heard in many 'tough' inner city schools where violence and deprivation is a real problem are the ones who commit offences like the ones on this thread.
  3. blueplantlife - I agree with you. Children are more likely to thrive when they have firm, clear boundaries. In my experience - 25 years as a teacher - they actually respond best to those staff who give them clear boundaries. I have always worked in this way and have also usually had very good relationships with the children and with parents - there are always a few exceptions! I have found that they respected the fact that they knew exactly what would happen if their behaviour was unacceptable. I also agree with jamie.edward.saunder when he talks about democratic schools as this does not fly in the face of having very firm and clear boundaries. Giving children some responsibility does not mean chaos and we do it all the time anyway in a wide range of situations in most schools. I am a primary teacher and I do think that we need to get things right from the word go. I have had parents say to me that "It will be easier when she is older. She will be easier to manage then 'cos she'll understand more". No!! It will be harder because what they have come to understand is that adults can be manipulated and will give in.
  4. Sorry my previous post got sent by accident before I had finished. I was going on to say that I don't agree with very young children being excluded but we need to have sanctions about their behaviour and if schools also spent some money on extra support and were able to get aggreement on getting help for very young children who display violent behaviour then our secondary colleagues might find things a whole lot easier when the children come to them. We also have a duty of care to colleagues and to other pupils. I am appalled and horrified at what is going on in many schools but think all schools need to get their discipline and behaviour strategies worked out clearly and it needs to start with the very youngest children. Also we need to remember that the tragedy has already occured - Philip Lawrence being stabbed to death outside his school when he intervened in a violent and threatening incident.
  5. You are right Amymaria - it needs to stop before ANOTHER tragedy happens. It is not the only one either. I know of one murder that happened at the school gates. A child killed another child in a gang attack. Tragic.

  6. Yes - tragic. I think there has been more than one incident of that kind.
  7. WolfPaul

    WolfPaul New commenter

    Question for jamie.edward.saunder:

    Now that you have made good career progress, being a member of SMT, why not return to the state system, take up a job at a challenging school, and "democratise" it? I'd be interested to hear the results in real life!
  8. Great idea WolfPaul! I'm coming to your school!
  9. WolfPaul

    WolfPaul New commenter

    jamie.edward.saunder wrote: "Great idea WolfPaul! I'm coming to your school!"

    I'm afraid my school is not what would be classed as "challenging", although for the majority of my career I have worked in such schools.

    As you are well aware, the point I was making was that it seems rather hypocritical of you to give advice and suggestions to those who are working in these type of challenging schools, when on your own admission you wouldn't personally last 5 minutes in them. Why is this? Wouldn't your regime of "democratisation" sort it out?
  10. I'm at a school where two year 7 pupils with a history of violence, disruption and repeated bad behaviour physically assaulted an autistic student, leaving him so terrified that he was crawled up in a ball vomiting on the floor.


    One got a one internal exclusion (ie cushy day being given soup and told that 'that behaviour isn't very nice, is it?'), and the other was back in lessons the next day. The young man who received no punishment today threw a pair of scissors across the classroom. Will he get a punishment? Probably not. No doubt I'll have to dodge the projectiles tomorrow as well.
    pepper5 likes this.
  11. Yes, and lets all be inclusive - not very inclusive for the poor child rolling around on the floor after being attacked!! Not very inclusive for those poor hard working kids who just want to learn in a fun / calm enviornment... Or those who sit on a strange angle at their desks... One eye on the teacher / one eye on the headcase behind who could do anything next...

    Sorry his is where "exclusive" education fails. The END!!!

    pepper5 likes this.
  12. WolfPaul I am not coming to your school. I shall be staying put for at least the next two years. I am sorry that you did not appreciate my humour.

    I am quite sure that democratisation would solve a lot of problems in challenging schools. I once had a Head of Mathematics interview in a school in Special Measures which was being turned round in this way. Democratisation enlisted everyone's support for school improved. The rules were negotiated between the teachers and the School Council and because parties had ownership of the rules behaviour improved.

    The threads that I read on here are from frustrated teachers who feel that SMT do not listen. Democratisation reminds the miscreants that the majority of students want to learn and that it empowers both the teacher and the conscientious students. I hope that Stan will now realise that he has misrepresented my views.
  13. WolfPaul

    WolfPaul New commenter

    jamie.edward.saunder: you haven't answered my question.
  14. Wow. I'm thinking of doing a PGCE and find all this a little bit scary! I know that all schools have there share of problem pupils, but some of these threads seem really bad.
    I was just wondering for the people who have experienced the threats etc if it puts them off being a teacher or if they can still enjoy their jobs despite the kids being in their classes?

    pepper5 likes this.
  15. WolfPaul, your question was:

    Now that you have made good career progress, being a member of SMT, why not return to the state system, take up a job at a challenging school, and "democratise" it?

    My answer:

    I think it is a good idea. I will give it some consideration.
  16. shadocg

    shadocg New commenter

    Looking at JES's comments, I notice he has left out some of his OTHER middle names, likely because it would make his user name so long.

    I mean, James.Edward.Wayne.Andrew.Norman.Kenneth.Emmet.Robert.Saunders is just too long to use, right? Right!

    Just because you are in an ivory tower doesn't mean that everybody is, JES!
  17. i think that jes has delusions that democratisation is the behavioural holy grail.

    it is not.

    there are children, i agree, who do respond to and benefit from this kind of environment, but, as blueplantlife has said, it can, and does, lead to legitimisation of their behaviour.

    if a child is not given clear and abslute boundaries from the get go in primary education, and followed on in secondary where a united front is shown- the children are most likely going to co-operate. it is a simple fact. human beings want to do what we want whenever we want. it is only the outside influences such as parents and teachers which teach us some level of self discipline. if children are not taught discipline and boundaries, they will continue to behave as and how they please. this much is evident from so many of these posts.

    i fully agree that children should be 'listened to' and their views heard, but i refuse to accept this culture where the child has precedence over the teacher. the teacher is the adult, and the child is the student. out there in that big, wide world they are going to encounter people who are either their superiors, equals and people working under them. if children cannot accept authority because they have never been taught this- we are doing them no favours.

    the uk is a democracy- there are laws and there are punishments for non co-operation. that in itself speaks for my argument.
  18. Shadocg you are well funny! You will be disappointed to learn that I have just the one middle name. You've given a cool idea. I'll change my name by deed poll so I can be named after each member of the English football team!

    If you read my comments on this site (I won't be offended if you don't) you'll find evidence of non-ivory tower experience!

    Thank you for your contribution, Bagpussfan. You have shown me that I have communication problems. I have never argued that democratisation is a panacea for all ills (I think that was what you were trying to say; the reference to the holy grail suggests that it is difficult to find, which it is not). You rightly point out that the UK is a democracy (of sorts) but we still have our problems. Yes, human beings have their shortcomings, hence, the Christian doctrine of original sin. But there is also the Christian doctrine of original righteousness, the belief that human beings are fundamentally good. Let's face it, given the choice, wouldn't you rather live in a democracy than in a dictatorship?

    Democracy doesn't mean an absence of laws or punishments either as democratic government (and schools) show. Lee Canter, a famous and influential discipline guru in the 1970s and 1980s conducted some research suggesting that rules were more effectively enforced when negotiated between the teacher and the students. This idea also fits in with John Rutter's argument that the more involved students are in their schools, the more they respect their schools.

    Democratic schools often run a Discipline Board made up of pupils and teachers. When a pupil misbehaves and disrupts the learning of others, why shouldn't they face up to the conscientious students who are in the majority? If I have a reservation about this approach, it is in this situation that the students become very severe and sometimes teachers have to intervene but I think in principle the idea is sound.

    May I make a plea, that if you are confused about anything I have said, ask me some questions. Please do not try to shout down things that I have not said.
  19. why do positive people always get criticised on these threads?
  20. If JES has contributed anything positive it's hidden by his patronising tone. I reckon he's one of the DHTs at Hissy High using an alias.
    pepper5 likes this.

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