How to Set Up and Run Behaviour Management in Secondary Schools.

This is the second post about behaviour management. Post 1 is here.

I want to make this as easy as possible to understand so it is going to be a list of actions, behaviours and attitudes to ensure your school has high-quality behaviour that allows teachers to teach and children to learn. You and other senior staff need to be touring the school and visiting all spaces where children are being taught, frequently. Meet up to share experiences, frequently.

  1. Believe misbehaviour can be reduced to close to zero in all lessons. 
  2. Accept that if a child misbehaves in more than one lesson changing the way those teachers try to manage that misbehaviour is probably not going to be productive 
  3. If a child misbehaves in only one lesson, it may be that the interaction between that child and that teacher needs adjusting. Both parties may need to change. 
  4. If misbehaviour, at any level, is apparent in more than one lesson then it is the role of SLT and other leaders to solve. It is not an issue for those teachers.
  5. Check for basic skills competency. Is misbehaviour, masking, for example, poor reading or mathematical skills?
  6. Ensure you always maintain a relationship with the worst behaved child so that it is possible to continue to discuss their good and not good behaviours. Or at least make sure there is someone in school who can do that if you can’t.
  7. This is not suggesting remote behaviour management. It is far more than that. No good just telling, threatening, a child to behave or else. Time is needed to help the child learn to behave. 
  8. Children need rules and those rules must be fair, kind and scrupulously applied. No favourites. No favours. No exceptions. 
  9. The fact is that some children need more teaching to then be able to modify their behaviour so that they and others can learn. 
  10. You can only know all there is to know about what actually goes on in your classrooms if you visit them all, at different times of the day, several times each week. If you have an issue with behaviour then you need to put in the effort to collect the information. 
  11. You are not checking on teachers. You are checking on student behaviour. 
  12. NEVER feedback about an individual teacher any evidence you collect from this “lesson visit” process. 
  13. If you encounter behaviour you do not approve of, the threshold for this will alter as your school improves, consider removing the child for a discussion in the corridor. If you ignore poor behaviour you are condoning it and letting teachers and children down. 
  14. Use assemblies and any other opportunity to explain why poor behaviour is so damaging to learning. It is a distraction of attention thing and also makes a teacher’s job so much more difficult. 
  15. Explain clearly, we used set-up videos of good and of poor behaviour to exemplify what we wanted, to all students. Be very clear about the expectations.. 
  16. Work with one year group for a week or so. 
  17. Insist that all adults buy into the new behaviour system. Train the adults as well as the children. 
  18. Reduce the paperwork teachers have to do to report misbehaviour as much as you can. You are touring the school frequently.  
  19. You should see significant improvements over the course of a school term. The problems will not be easy to resolve. 
  20. You may need to remove some children for significant discussion. In the early days, I did almost nothing else during school time. If an hour was needed to begin teaching a child how and why to behave properly then I spent that hour. As did my deputies, other SLT and heads of year. 
  21. Stick with it. It is hard work. 
  22. Involve parents and explain to them what you are doing and why. Reassure them that you are not simply collecting evidence to use to exclude children. Parents want their child to be in a calm, productive classroom to learn.


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