Improving Behaviour and Attendance in Schools Briefing
Persistent disruptive behaviour is the most common reason that students are permanently excluded from school, accounting for 32.7% of all exclusions in 2013/14. Pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM) are four times more likely to be excluded than their peers. Similarly, the absence rate for FSM pupils is 6.8%, compared to 3.6% for non-FSM children in 2014/15. These statistics suggest that behaviour and absence are affected by external factors, such as pupil background, offering the opportunity to address these issues in school. The Government appointed a ‘behaviour Tsar’ in 2015, who will help to train teachers to deal with the low-level disruption that the 2014 Ofsted report suggests is a major issue in UK schools. Many schools are also exploring other methods for managing behaviour and attendance, such as setting up reward schemes where pupils can save up for desirable prizes. Encouraging student involvement through student council have also proved effective in improving behaviour and attendance.
Join us for the Improving Behaviour and Attendance in Schools Briefing, to discuss with other experts how schools can meet the challenges of behaviour and attendance in schools. Topics covered will include effective behaviour management, the role of rewards and sanctions, and encouraging student councils as a method for listening to the student voice.
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The 2014 Ofsted report found that low-level disruption, such as swinging on chairs, making inappropriate comments and passing notes, was a serious problem that needed targeting in UK schools. Ofsted estimated that helping teachers to deal with minor misdemeanours better would save an average of 38 days of learning a year. In 2015, to address this issue, Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, announced the appointment of ‘behaviour tsar’ Tom Bennett, a teacher and behaviour expert whose new role will include developing teacher training to help solve the problem of low-level disruption.
Low-level disruptive behaviour and avoidable absence has been recognised as a problem by schools, and some are finding innovative ways to help change these patterns. Some schools are doing this through online reward schemes, where children earn points for good behaviour and then convert their points into prizes. The site Vivo, for example, allows students to save points to spend on Amazon vouchers and school trips. These schemes have been found to be an effective way of spending Pupil Premium funding, particularly because they provide a way of tracking the effectiveness of the strategy. For example, regular use of Vivo has been found to increase attendance by an average of 6%.
There is also a view that extrinsic incentive schemes only go so far in improving behaviour and attendance and that schools need to do more to offer intrinsic rewards via positive achievement and behaviour policies. Rewards and incentives clearly need to be balanced by the clear and consistent application of behaviour policies.
Increasing student involvement in decision making and behaviour management is also a method commonly used to help improve overall behaviour and attendance. According to Department of education data, 90% of schools now use school councils as a way of listening to the ‘student voice’. Maggie Atkinson, Children’s Commissioner for England, said school councils are “about listening to their [student] concerns and using their experience as the main users of school services to make improvements.” There are some concerns about how well student councils are managed, however, as National Foundation for Educational Research found that just 40% of pupils thought that school councils were an effective forum.
Delegates attending the Improving Behaviour and Attendance in Schools Briefing will learn about the debate surrounding attendance and behaviour management, including how consistently applied sanctions and policies can help to improve behaviour, innovative methods for behaviour and attendance management, and how listening to the ‘student voice’ can make students active agents in improving their own behaviour and attendance.
Registration, Refreshments and Exhibition
Opening Remarks from Chair
David Birch, Associate Director, National Education Trust
Linda James MBE, CEO, BulliesOut
Linda founded BulliesOut in May 2006, spurred by a determination that the lives of children would not be scarred by bullying as hers had been. Since then, Linda has grown BulliesOut from a simple web based support service to a provider of a comprehensive programme of workshops and training programmes for schools in the UK and overseas.
Terry Gould, Early Years and Primary Consultant, Author, Trainer and Freelance EYFS Oftsed inspector
A focus on intrinsic motivation to support improved behaviour and attendance
Refreshments and Networking Break
Shaun Dellenty, Deputy Headteacher, Alfred Salter Primary School
Shaun Dellenty is the Deputy Headteacher of Alfred Salter Primary School in London, a school widely celebrated for its inclusive practice. In addition Shaun has worked previously as a seconded improving schools consultant and he now serves as a part time equalities consultant, in addition to his full time role as a school leader.
Steve Baker, Steve Baker Education (Invited)
Sue Morris-King, National Lead for Behaviour and Attendance, Ofsted (Invited)
Leading Ofsted’s survey work on behaviour and attendance issues, Sue carries out prominent national work on bullying, alternative provision, nurture groups, pupil referral units and children missing from education. She has been an HMI for almost eight years, and National Lead since summer 2009. Before joining Ofsted, Sue taught in and held senior leadership positions in a number of schools, including special schools and challenging mainstream schools.
Lunch and Networking
Professor Pam Maras, Professor of Social and Educational Psychology and Director of the Research Centre for Children, Schools and Families, University of Greenwich (Invited)
Pam Maras is Professor in Social and Educational Psychology and Head of Department of Psychology and Counselling in the School of Health and Social Care; she is also director of the Research Centre for Children Schools and families within which her research is located and holds a number of University wide roles.
Anna Henry, Director of Policy for The Office of the Children's Commissioner
Anna leads the policy directorate. This covers lots of different areas of work from the care and assistance we give to children and young people, to producing reports that can lead to laws being changed or better services.
Closing Remarks from Chair
David Birch, Associate Director, National Education Trust
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- How Government initiatives can help behaviour management
- Effective rewards and sanctions for improving behaviour and attendance
- The role of the ‘student voice’ in empowering students to take charge of their own behaviour and attendance
- Update on Ofsted findings
- The effectiveness of the student voice in positively engaging students
- The impact of external factors on a child’s behaviour and attendance
- Role of new ‘behaviour tsar’
Who should attend?
Head Teachers, Deputy Head Teachers, School Business Managers, Governors, Finance Directors, School Budget Managers, Principals, , Vice Principals, Chairs of Governors, Academy Principals, ICT Directors, Academy Chief Executives, Academy Trustees, Education Leaders, Academy Sponsors, Academics with an interest in Education, Local Authority Education Officers, School Inspectors, those in the Private and Third Sectors who have an interest in the future of Education and raising standards.