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Restorative Behaviour Practices

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Artdoodle, May 12, 2018.

  1. Artdoodle

    Artdoodle New commenter

    Hello everyone,

    I'm feeling rather frustrated and a bit jaded. I am an experienced teacher who has been teaching for sixteen years and I am a Head of Faculty. A few years ago we had a change of SLT and they scrapped the old behaviour policy in favour of a rather vague restorative policy. So we are a few years down the line with this (interestingly the Primary School under new management adopted the same policy) and the poor behaviour and disrespect especially with first years is causing teachers problems. At the same time we are becoming a Rights Respecting School and the pupils are regularly challenging, well, everything really, but in particular the levels they should be entered in subjects.

    I am very strict and fair and have a history of excellent behaviour management and relationships with pupils but I too have been struggling with the behaviour of some first years. I give them a verbal warning, move them to sit on their own and then they get sent to another member of staff for a time out. The problem is the pupils come back laughing when they have seen SLT, they have a nice chat and then nothing happens. No phone calls home, no detentions and basically no consequences. As a middle manager I saw the same second year eight times last week and know that he was sent out from one lesson after another. I had a child sent out for sticking pins in another child's arm and when I asked what would happen I'm told we don't do detentions anymore as we don't "punish the children". Give me strength I just want the child to take some responsibility and have a consequence for their behaviour!!!!! This seems like the beginning of a slippery slope to me, is it time to get out? If a child disagrees with something I've said they go to the Head and she undermines me, same with the parents. I have brought this up with her a number of times but have succeeded in doing nothing apart from making myself unpopular. The inference now is that the problems with behaviour are down to the teachers being inconsistent, angry, irrational and that our lessons aren't engaging enough if a child is being disruptive.

    So feeling very unsupported, I can deal fine with behaviour in my Faculty but when it goes further there is nothing? Anyone else have this issue and how did it resolve itself? Thanks for reading!
     
  2. meggyd

    meggyd Senior commenter

    Leave if you can. Good luck.
     
    jarndyce and pepper5 like this.
  3. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    The faculty I worked poured lots of effort into 'Restorative Practice', as a means to getting those 'low ability' students, who would otherwise have failed, to achieve at least a Pass. The powers that be dictate that everyone has to achieve. So you do whatever you have to do, in order to meet that demand. :(

    The problem is that the word 'Restorative' implies you are restoring something to its previous form. For most of the students I saw it used with, being badly behaved/abusive/disruptive was their normal behaviour, so I don't quite see how the RP is expected to make things any better. o_O

    To be fair, there were a few students for whom it seemed to pay off. But most revelled in being able to 'get away with stuff' that they shouldn't really have been allowed to get away with at all. :rolleyes:
     
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. Artdoodle

    Artdoodle New commenter

    Thanks for your replies, I can see how it may help with a pupil for which nothing else works but not with the majority. What kind of Head bases her whole behaviour policy around one or two pupils? It's all about "pupil voice" and yet the staff it appears have no voice or input into anything. It is such a frustrating situation, maybe it's trendy because it allows LEA's to keep their exclusion numbers down. Glad to hear it isn't only just me, please keep your experiences coming!
     
    Alice K and pepper5 like this.
  5. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    It's a stupid policy. Perhaps ask for an agenda item for a review to take place involving the whole staff at the next inset meeting. Personally, I'd forget moaning. It is a case of put up or shut up. From now on at the school, you have no choice but to get more stressed out with behaviour that won't effectively be dealt with. Over time, it might burn you out or affect your mental health but there will be someone who can replace you and they will be cheaper and won't complain so much. Such is life in UK schools.
     
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. Artdoodle

    Artdoodle New commenter

    Hi binaryhex,

    Yes I think you're right unfortunately. At the last Management meeting I asked for a whole staff review of the policy but seeing as the whole staff weren't consulted when the new policy was brought in I won't hold my breath. I am applying for new jobs at the moment and hopefully move onto somewhere new. It's a depressing picture, I've seriously thought about leaving teaching altogether this year but still love the teaching part of the job.
     
    pepper5 likes this.
  7. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Restorative policies mean diddly squat.
    IME zero tolerance and suitable sanctions work best.
    But most SMT lack the balls to do this.
     
    Alice K, Norsemaid and pepper5 like this.
  8. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I agree 100% with post 7.

    Zero tolerance, sanctions and apologies for the poor behaviour work best.
    It has worked since the ancient times and it still works today. It is the motive that is the deciding factor: you discipline children because you care for them - you want them to learn from their mistakes and change their behaviour.

    How are children ever going to learn how to treat others in the proper manner unless they are taught?
     
    Alice K likes this.
  9. Artdoodle

    Artdoodle New commenter

    Just wanted to update you all, I have a new job at a much better school and am very relieved. Thank goodness as I feel it's only going to get worse. Pepper5 I totally agree with a zero tolerance approach and have generally found that this works best if applied consistently. Interestingly I had two of the worst offenders sent to me and they said " Are you leaving us,you can't you're the best teacher!" Alas life is too short.........I feel sorry for the kids as its the shambolic SLT that are letting staff and pupils down. Thank God I found the balls to leave, thirteen years is a long time at one school. Wishing you all the best!
     
  10. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi Artdoodle

    I am very sure your school will be very sorry to lose an experienced teacher of 16+ years; however, you have taken the right step for your own mental health and happiness and may I say well done and many congratulations.

    Let us hope your old school may have the wisdom to reflect on its policies and make some changes in the future.

    It is indeed the shambolic SLT who are letting students and staff down.

    Please enjoy every minute of your holiday and keep us posted about your new school in September.
     
    Alice K likes this.
  11. Aelfric

    Aelfric New commenter

    Personally from my experience restorative approaches are used as a cop out by schools which unduly give students a say where quite frankly they shouldn’t. In my view a restorative meeting should take place if you had a good relationship with a student and some sort of incident or event that has damaged the relationship.

    I think in a large proportion of schools these days the restorative approach is used because SLT or heads of year don’t want the confrontation.
     
    sparkleghirl and pepper5 like this.
  12. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I agree with you, as that is the way it worked n my last school. RJ was just another way to place the blame for poor behaviour on the teaching staff, and away form the students, and the SMT. Our Heads of Year were replaced by non-teachers, one of the roles of whom was to act as 'advocates for the students', and RJ was adopted. All a student had to do was to go whining to their HoY, who them presided over an RJ' meeting between the teacher, the student, and sometimes a member of the SMT. The usual outcome of this was a 'compromise' solution, in which the teacher had to back down, and to be seen to do so in front of the student. At these meetings, it was the teacher who was 'in the dock' over their 'inappropriate management' of the student's behaviour, rather then the student being called to account for their inappropriate behaviour!
     
    pepper5 likes this.
  13. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I sometimes wonder what kind of parents these SMT members are, to advocate such thing - if indeed they are parents.

    I occasionally see links shared on FB about touchy feely parenting techniques which avoid 'punishing' the children and they are inevitably from those who have the brattiest offspring. Cause and effect.


    Eaxctly. It's the easiest way out for them - they're not really dealing with it but can at least tick a box to pretend they are. In the end, they're doing the children no favours and probably know this but want an easy life for themselves.
     
    pepper5 likes this.

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