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Restorative Meeting

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by bigjimmy2, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    Folks, I have a restorative meeting with a pupil next week.
    Don't want to give too much detail because I want advice from you.
    I want this to be a success - from my point of view.
    The child has been disrupting lessons since he was punted into my class in August; the class - fruity enough in the first place - have responded to his behaviour by letting their own behaviour go south too. The child has also been acting in a threatening manner throughout the school as well, to pupils and staff.
    Success from my point of view would be to have him taken out and shot - metaphorically speaking, of course . . .
    So, advice please?
  2. JPM1967

    JPM1967 New commenter

    Who else will be present BigJimmy? Parents? Pastoral Care Teacher? etc.

    Does the pupil have any particular hobbies or interests, whereby you could relate his/her behaviour to a context he/she may have some empathy with, e.g keen footballer...How would the managers & players feel if a supporter kept running onto the pitch and kicking the ball away etc.

    Not a huge fan of RP but I've seen it work a few times where the pupil can suddenly see their behaviour from a totally different viewpoint.
  3. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    First, thanks for the reply.
    DHT and me will be there. I have requested the parents, but who knows?
    Pupil is a boy so he will almost undoubtedly have an interest in football so that may be an idea.
    I'm not a big fan of RP either - the last time I had one was a disaster from the pupil's point of view.
    Thanks again.
  4. davieee

    davieee Occasional commenter

    Ask him why he thinks he was removed from another class and put into yours. Get him to acknowledge his behaviour has a negative effect on his attainment. Then ask him what he can do to change his behaviour and improve his attainment
  5. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    Thanks for the reply, davie.
    Asking why he was demoted into my class is probably the best starting point: His behaviour and attainment were awful, he knows it and the parents will know it.
    One of my main aims is, as you say, to get him to acknowledge his behaviour/attainment link.
    Then, as you say again, what can he do to improve.

    This is pretty much as I was thinking, ie keep it simple.
    I will also be armed with his behaviour record, and a couple of examples of other stuff which he will not expect (sorry, can't share). This information will be used if I deem the pupil to be "uncooperative".

    I'll post what I can when I can. There's no definite date yet but I'm hoping it will be next week, before the October holidays. Thanks again for the feedback.
  6. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    What is the aim of the meeting? As with all meetings, unless that is clear then it's a failure from the start. IMO If restorative practice means anything then the aim should be to restore the correct classroom environment of mutual respect to allow learning to take place. So you are right to start with the facts relating to the boy's discipline record. Keep this factual and unemotional. Give examples also of how his lack of respect has encouraged others to join in. You can point out that you really have no personal axe to grind and that it is HIS behaviour that is the problem not his or your personality. On the other hand, you are a professional and if there are issues which are causing him personal troubles then he can share these with the school in confidence with the appropriate staff and he will be supported like any other pupil. When in any class however, the bottom line is ... return to start of the loop.

    Which is pretty much what you were thinking anyway I imagine? Oh and make sure your DHT is onside and is not minded to say anything you don't know about in advance.

    Good luck. I am so glad I do not have to bother with this kind of p+sh any more!
  7. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    Thanks Dom.
    The meeting went ahead today with myself, the mother, the DHT and the unfortunate pupil. Bear in mind i can't be too specific here.

    Meeting went ahead much as I had planned. I made it plain that the meeting was to help him overcome his problems - in case he thought it was going to be an opportunity to bad-mouth me.
    After a supportive (to me) preamble from the DHT, the pupil was asked if he had a particular problem with me - apparently he didn't like the "tone" I use, and so apparently do his pals in the class. I responded that I treat all my pupils the same way that I would expect my own children to be treated, the DHT pointed out that "tone" was a very subjective thing.
    I then asked him why he felt the need to swear at me threateningly, and to my great surprise since this was the single main reason for the meeting, he denied it! The DHT put him right on this.
    We then talked about other things he has done, the effects on his education and his classmates.
    The pupil's body language was entirely defensive: he slouched in his seat, couldn't make eye contact and grunted for "yes" and "no" answers; he said "****" a few times and his mother didn't pull him up for it. The mother was hard to read.
    At the end the pupil was asked if he agreed to everything the DHT said he had, after a few grunts he brought up the tone of my voice again! The DHT was exasperated at this as we thought it had been nailed. I asked if his real problem was accepting my authority rather than my tone but he stuck with the tone excuse.
    The meeting ended after this "agreement". Of course we'll see how long it lasts!

    At the moment I'm reasonably happy with this. It is now clear to the pupil that he is the one with the problems, and he is the one we are trying to help. I'm hoping his classmates will also see that, for want of a better phrase, I'm not to be f u c k e d with, and stop admiring this pupil's appalling behaviour.

    Thanks for the replies again, folks - they were real, actual helps!
  8. morrisseyritual

    morrisseyritual Occasional commenter

    http://www.inclusive-solutions.com contains a decent restorative meeting structure.

    Calm honesty is the order of the day - but it can be worthwhile taking a union rep in with you, even as a passive observer.
  9. davieee

    davieee Occasional commenter

    You could've asked him how your "tone" got him moved into your class in the 1st place
  10. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    First, my PT, from whose class the pupil was removed, mentioned that the poor soul had managed to say "Hello" to him during the week. This after a year of battles with him.
    Second, the pupil behaved almost impeccably during the lessons I had with him last week - albeit one of them was a test.
    Third: one of my indulgences is to check the behaviour system regularly on Wash'n'Go, sorry Click'n'Go. Last thing on Friday, since the window was already opened, I checked. Guess who was referred? Guess what for? Yup, that's right: my lovely wee pupil, for threatening behaviour towards a member of staff. Ah well.

    PS Daviee, the DHT corrected him about the tone thing at the end of the meeting. My very first point at the start of the meeting was the reasons why he was moved into my class. I used the phrases "appalling behaviour", "poor achievement" and "second chance" but the pupil said he was "only disturbing the class" (!). Sorry, but my previous message is a cut-down version of the whole thing otherwise it would be the length of one of those Christopher Curtis messages from Australia.
  11. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    I just found out that during the Friday before the October week (the 9th) my good friend - guess what? - threatened another teacher. Unbelievable! Equally unbelievable that no action has been taken. Is my good friend going to have to physically assault a teacher before some sort of action is pursued? Or does the HT want to protect the school's record on exclusions, is that more important?

    In my class today I had to keep my good friend behind for a talking to and mark his behaviour card, in the presence of the PT. Nothing too serious, just a collection of trivialities I thought were sorted at the restorative meeting. I was my usual courteous and respectful self but cut the discussion short immediately he told me that he found me "threatening". I emailed the DHT, FH and PT for the record.

    What's your opinions on these developments? Exactly how vulnerable am I to false accusations in this situation? Methinks plenty! Union not aware of latest situation yet, that will happen tomorrow.
    Teaching: ye cannae whack it!
  12. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Lead commenter

    A few things I would do

    • Ensure that all union members are aware of the threats to staff (via your rep)
    • All threats to be recorded on appropriate violence / aggression paperwork
    • Police charges where appropriate. No child is above the law and teachers shouldn't think twice about it - no SMT or HT can stop you, especially if there are witnesses
    • Anyone who issues threats to staff should not be back in a classroom until a risk assessment has been undertaken - this has to be shared with union/H&S reps

    Some of these won't change a pupil's behaviour, but it will show to management that it is not acceptable and they need to do something, so throw it back to them instead of typical avoidance. People have to log things to get improvements - paper heavy yes, but there's no other way. Risk assessments take time and it even might mean a few periods where thugs like this are kept away from your room and you can get on with teaching decent kids.
  13. Freddie92

    Freddie92 Occasional commenter

    Personally not a fan of RP. I had a RP meeting once (not long after our school had adopted it) and to be frank it was a waste of time. I have never went to one since.
  14. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    Our DHT doesn't know what to do with my wee RP problem-child since someone pressed his threaten-a-teacher button twice since the meeting. Only real alternative is to put him into another class but that's already been tried, with me. Let's hope he continues to threaten so we can be rid of him . . .
  15. subman68

    subman68 Occasional commenter

    A school I know had a kid S3 pull a knife out and threaten a teacher last week. Police called. Pupil continued to mouth off and swear at HT. Police asked if they could tell him to stop..."we cant do anything with him" policeman walks over, warns him, is told to F-off. kid is then slammed into wall and cuffs put on. We can not cuff a kid so have to stand and take it.

    Kid is well know by Police. Risk assessment is done, kid suspended for 3 days. Kid back in school and in class of teacher he threatened. To be fair school and HT going nuts but the family have already been in touch with LA saying they don't want their child's education disrupted.

    It is a sick joke, I think we just wait until pupils start stabbing teachers.

    My school has asked teachers not to fill in the "violence in the workplace" form if a kid swears at or threatens them, we are only to do the form if we are actually assaulted.

    We have confident individuals that are confident enough to be abusive to any adult/teacher they feel like.

    I am actively looking for a new job.
  16. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    A colleague at my school had his lip bust from a punch by an S3 pupil.
    As you say, subby, we're growing individuals confident enough to throw a punch at an adult. Maybe we are all implicitly guilty in these assaults because we can't tell pupils they're failures any more.
    What kind of job are you thinking of leaving for, subs, if you can disclose?
  17. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    Meant to say, anyone read any of this thread (and the link)?
    A bit of a tangent to this thread but, hey.
  18. inthered

    inthered Occasional commenter

    Subman, the school cannot tell you not to fill in Violent Incident forms. Well, they can, but after going to your union (higher up the tree than rep, if s/he is a management lackey) tell them to get stuffed.

    Additionally, (this has been mentioned before, on a different thread, couple of years ago probably) assaulted or threatened teachers can get an interdict through police, I believe, so that kid cannot legally be closer to the teacher than, say, 200 metres. This effectively means kid cannot be at school, since unless kid is kept in a room, the legal boundary cannot really be enforced (yuftie class, changeover times, lunch duty etc). An interdict supersedes a parental request to the region for non-disruption to kid's education, being legal as opposed to request. Kid then gets shunted to a different school, which doesn't solve the problem but at least gives the assaulted or threatened teacher respite.

    Course, rules might have changed since this was done at our school, 20-odd years ago, but I don't see why.
  19. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    My DHT has arranged for an ASN Assistant for the problem child in my classes starting next week, and for a few of his other subjects as well. This is probably because a neighbouring colleague - you know the type, they're "such a good teacher" and have "such good relationships" with all of their pupils that they've never referred or demerited anyone ever - needed to refer him. For aggressive behaviour.

    This is good, even if it's merely another pair of eyes in the room. It is also almost unheard of for an S3 pupil, especially one about 6'2" in height. The ASN Assistant will stand out like a sore thumb. Who the ASN Assistant is for will also stand out like a sore thumb. I hope this will turn out to be an embarrassing and humiliating experience for the problem child every time he is in my class. I hope he looks and feels about two years old in front of his admiring peers.

    I fully intend to take advantage of this situation. Ideally, if I can "provoke" him into another threatening outburst in front of an adult witness then the school will, at the very least, have more evidence to move him on to another school.
  20. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Given that this may turn into a bit of a mess with parents seeking to blame the school/teachers etc. are you sure you want to post this level of detail on a public forum?
    You've not mentioned names but if someone who knows the situation were to look at this thread it would be obvious who you and the child are - and teaching in Scotland is a very, very small community.

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