The Government has announced plans to tackle bad behaviour within the classroom with a new scheme that will focus initially on 500 schools along with £10 million of investment.
Behaviour expert and former teacher Tom Bennett, who led a national review to identify the best ways of dealing with disruptive behaviour in schools, will lead the programme, where a network of expert schools will be identified to help teachers and school leaders in need of support.
More than 8 per cent of parents consider good discipline in the class a key factor when choosing a school for their child, according to research cited by the government.
However, over a third of schools are not currently judged as having good enough behaviour by Ofsted. With low level disruption costing individual pupils up to 38 days a year of learning and dealing with poor behaviour cited as a key reason for teachers leaving the profession, the Government says it’s determined to take action.
“Calm and safe schools benefit all students, allowing them to concentrate fully on their studies,” said Nick Gibb, School Standards Minister.
“Just one instance of bad behaviour in a classroom can derail an entire lesson and hold back every other pupil in the room.
“We know these instances of classroom disruption damage teachers’ morale and increase workload and stress which is why we want schools to instil cultures of good behaviour at all times.
Gibb added: “As a Government, continuing the improvement in pupil behaviour in schools is a key priority. With £10million of funding, the support provided to schools will allow teachers to get on with what they do best – teaching – and empower school leaders to implement their behaviour policies correctly and robustly.”
The network will be made up of schools that have exemplary behaviour management practices and effective whole-school cultures. They will work with other schools offering advice on ways to better manage behaviour using measures that have been proven to have an effect, which include intensive staff training on tackling classroom disruption; introducing centralised detention systems; new sanctions and rewards systems for pupils; and focusing on pupil attendance and punctuality.
Tom Bennett, the Department’s Lead Behaviour Adviser, said: “Good behaviour is fundamental – not just to great learning, but countless other goals we value. However, too many students don’t enjoy classrooms where they can thrive and feel safe, and teachers need support and training to ensure this is the case.
“This scheme may very well be one of the most significant strategies for public good we have seen in decades and I’m thrilled to be leading this national programme that will help schools become safer and calmer, allowing more children and staff to flourish.”
A team of advisers will shortly be appointed to work alongside Mr Bennett to help develop and deliver the programme of support. The advisers will be education professionals with a track-record and understanding of improving behaviour in schools.
The programme will launch in September 2020 and the programme will run for an initial period of 3 years, improving the culture in schools and sharing good practice, producing disciplined environments where pupils feel safe and able to learn.