Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Addressing behaviour

SHA has submitted a consultation paper to the Practitioner Group on Behaviour, chaired by Sir Alan Steer. In it we have outlined 12 recommendations to improve behaviour and discipline.

Foremost, the paper is based on the principle that the government must trust schools and colleges to deal with discipline issues. Undermining leaders' judgement has a damaging effect on morale and consequently on recruitment and retention at all levels.

We have argued for the powers of appeals panels to be limited to commenting on the extent to which procedures and school policy were followed. Appeals panels should not be allowed to substitute their own judgement for that of school leaders or a governors' panel and parents should only be able to appeal on these grounds.

We have also called for streamlining paperwork associated with disciplinary issues and improving initial teacher training to give new teachers more confidence in dealing with poor behaviour.

The group should not, we believe, draw up a 'national tariff' of offences and appropriate punishments - behaviour policies need to take into account local circumstances. Rather, the group should develop a clear statement of the powers of teachers, school leaders and governing bodies.

Likewise, it should draw up a statement of what parents can and cannot expect from schools, and what schools can and cannot expect from parents.

To read the full submission, go to www.sha.org.uk, and click on the news section.

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