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Whole day in exclusion if call out twice - others' experiences?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by molclolex, Mar 11, 2017.

  1. molclolex

    molclolex New commenter

    Hi - my school is soon introducing a new policy which will involve putting a student in a referral room for 24 hours if they don't follow the school expectations. This could be not having a reading book or a pen, calling out twice in a lesson: two infractions and they're out. Behaviour is a problem but these sanctions seem incredibly draconian - at the moment it would mean referring the majority in my classes. I realise that most will catch on quickly enough and will (hopefully) reform - but what about students with more deep-rooted behaviour issues? I'm not making excuses for poor behaviour, but some kids will find it impossible to sit through a 2 hour lesson behaving perfectly all the time.

    Looking for reassurance, from anyone else whose experienced this, that it does work.
  2. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I don't see how this is sustainable. What will the students do in the referral room in terms of work which is relevant and differentiated ? All subjects ie following a time table / basic skills / death by worksheet / laptops ? Will it be marked or binned ? Silence at all times ? Both KS ? Members of staff to front on a rota ? Who covers when absent ?Access to a phone ? One permanent member of staff to be i /c for continuity ? Will someone be tracking the data ( clientele / time / day / offences / lesson and acting upon it ? Parents informed and when / how ? What happens at lunch time / breaks ? Booths or desks ? Facing the wall or facing the front ? I could go on so obviously I have some experience of a similar set up. Hierarchy of sanctions would make sense rather than the two strikes and you are out approach . Seems a lazy way of trying to sort out discipline problems..... like ' not having a pen ' . Really ? Should have agreed sanctions ( rules and responsibilities scenarios) according to severity of poor conduct, then introduced and embedded - not an over night fix . Success or lack of plus feedback and then the could be policy tweaked / changed. I could not sit through a 2 hr lesson so I don't know how some students would / could - even those with huge motivation, self control and enthusiasm...and those with very challenging behaviour will not respond because they can't ..... it takes time , expertise, patience and skill to get the best out of those particular students. Good Luck
  3. molclolex

    molclolex New commenter

    I don't know!! Students and parents have been informed, but the detail has not yet been shared with the people who will actually have to implement it... I think students will be given some sort of reflection sheet and be expected to write an apology, won't get lunch etc with rest of school. Idea is to make it deliberately unattractive, which is fine but still won't stop a significant minority of my students who actually have deeper-rooted issues than just wanting to be disruptive - it will be carnage if I refer someone good-but-noisy but not one of those kids. I'm dreading it but don't want to be willing it to fail as the low-level disruption and general disrespect to teachers is awful as well. We shall see.
  4. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I also recall that this Base housed students who were guilty of serious one offs or an accumulation of offences against the school's Code of Conduct. This school ( inner city top 1% social deprivation and huge cohorts of students with BEMH : ADHD ( Ritalin city ) also had massive issues with low level and major disruption to lessons. I just wonder if the responsibility / accountability for run of the mill / easily addressed things has bern taken out of your hands ? Some staff will love this !
  5. molclolex

    molclolex New commenter

    We did have a behaviour system, but not properly implemented because teachers were criticised if too many kids sent out etc - if your target is not to send out kids, that's easily achieved, but teaching rather than babysitting - well, that's another question. I suspect that after about 2 weeks teachers who continue to send out kids will be critiqued for doing so and the new zero-tolerance policy will end up being more unwieldy and actually a really horrible, over-the-top punishment than the old system. I think also a way to expel certain kids who are being set up to fail. Hopefully I'm being cynical and it will all be fine.
    1 person likes this.
  6. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    In a previous school, SLT decided to introduce a new whole school detention system where three problems led to a twenty minute detention. In the first week alone, over 800 detentions were issued (more than the number on role at the time). I suspect that when large numbers of students are sent to internal isolation in the first lesson your leadership team may change the grounds for being sent out
  7. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    This is my experience too.

    What @minnieme said.
    This sounds like a disaster.

    I'm assuming that SLT will be hosting the referrals (I'll give it a day) and even then I suspect there will be inconsistencies in treatment of the referred

    What is the next stage for the serious or repeat offender because once you've used your final shot?

    Not only will it fail unless the practicalities have been thoroughly thought through (and tested?) but will lead to worse situation than the school started with.
    • Students now know that policies simply get revoked (or not implemented)
    • Confusion and thus inconsistency will reign (especially if staff aren't clear about the whole process) and thus...
    • ...the well meaning but disorganised student (forgot their pen twice?) is treated the same a the deliberate disrupter
    • Students will see the system as unfair - and that in itself will lead to problems and 'playing the system'
    • Fair chance some parents will complain (a guarantee of policy reversal)
    edit: a more minor 'behaviour' issue in a school I once worked at = White Socks Fashion policy statement
    "From Monday,any student wearing white socks will be sent home"

    On Monday: the dozen or so persistent offenders were joined by 200-300 others who fancied a day off especially as meant they missed maths/PE/MFL etc.
    Except of course some couldn't be sent home as there was no transport after 8.30 or no one at home 'I haven't got a key Sir'
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  8. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Does the school have an evidence base behind this approach or is someone making up this policy from a position of being uninformed as to well researched approaches to the issue of calling out?
  9. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    I don't think that really matters as long as someone can put on their CV/Letter of Application that they have, 'taken a tough stance on behaviour, implementing whole school policies to enforce rigour and consistency', it is irrelevant whether it actually works.
    1 person likes this.
  10. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    An interesting thread with some detailed personal experiences. It sounds like an over the top blanket approach that is very likely to fail.

    Molclolex, I'm interested in whether the teachers have been consulted about this at all? Was the new policy the result of any sort of discussion or has it been imposed unexpectedly? Is there any option for communication about it? I'm expecting not as you say letters have already been sent to parents. Has there been any reaction there? I have found that quite often parents will call it out, either rightly or wrongly, as inappropriate in these situations? I wonder if any parents have already complained?

    My own experience of these behaviour policies almost always ends with the classroom teacher feeling like they cannot send out half the class as may well be necessary according to the new rules and therefore end up losing their own consistency and behaviour ultimately gets worse. If teachers are criticised for sending pupils out, and this is more likely to happen if it's not being dealt with in the department but in a whole school manner as you're discussing, (SLT typically lose interest/time to handle the volume of students sent to exclusion rooms if the bar is going to be "any two infringments" and therefore put pressure back onto teachers to deal with certain behaviours in the classroom) it becomes an even less effective system.

    What you have described sounds wholly unsustainable. My concern would be that far too many students will consistently be sent out, SLT won't have the time and capacity to man the room and so teachers will have to do so in PPA time. In addition, it creates extra work trying to send appropriate work to the exclusion room where it may or may not be done, collected, marked etc. Unless the room is genuinely run as a punishment - ie total silence, hard work, no breaks or social time, parents informed, it will have little impact and to do this for a large number of students consistently over months is very difficult for any school unless there are sufficient staff numbers. When a new policy is introduced very vocally and then it is not maintained, it really damages the respect between staff and students. I once joined a school the same week as a new uniform policy was introduced only for my form to tell me directly: "It'll only last three weeks Miss, then they'll give up on it." Sadly, they were right. Behaviour in that school was not under control because of regular swaps and changes and sweeping, poorly thought out policies which undermined any respect from the children.

    Is there any way you can discuss this with other staff to find out how they imagine it working out in your school and see if it will be possible to clarify a more appropriate scale of behaviours that culminates in the exclusion room rather than placing all infringements on the same level of escalation?

    I understand your other concern is students who find it very challenging for whatever reason to comply entirely. I think for now, you will have to do your uptmost to be as fair and consistent as possible. Avoid criticising the new system to the pupils or allowing them to discuss it with you. See if you can generate any discussion within the teaching staff regarding the ideas of verbal warnings/lead up to what will count as an infringement.

    If you have particular students you are concerned about, perhaps you can try to speak to them privately to explain how seriously expectations are going to be tackled - make sure to remind them to have their reading book, not call out, tuck their shirts in etc - preempt the problems where you can for vulnerable students so it acts as a sort of warning.

    Other than that, try to be positive. Perhaps it will have a positive impact! Certainly there will be "good" but "lazy" students who won't want to get into that much trouble and so will bother to remember their equipment. I agree it's unlikely to impact the most challenging and it will be tricky to navigate initially but try to focus on your own classroom - do the right thing there and hope that it might be replicated across the school and work!

    Good luck.
    1 person likes this.
  11. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    The other issue that I remember happening at my previous school was that the students who got hit hardest were not the real trouble makers (who still ignored instructions and soon realised that if they did not attend their detentions the school would not follow up or escalate the sanctions) but the better behaved students who were caught out doing small things but were punished as their teachers felt they had to be consistent and had no leeway

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