As schools open their doors to pupils once again, it goes without saying that there will be uncertainty, apprehension and unfamiliarity in returning to old routines. The results of this could be varied, with some pupils being pleased to return while others feel out of sorts. Should we expect to see new behavioural issues this term? Should schools adapt their behavioural policies to prepare?
In their guidance for opening, the government say: “Schools should consider updating their behaviour policies with any new rules or policies, and consider how to communicate rules/policies clearly and consistently to staff, pupils and parents, setting clear, reasonable and proportionate expectations of pupil behaviour.”
“This is particularly the case when considering restrictions on movement within school and new hygiene rules. Schools will need to work with staff, pupils and parents to ensure that behaviour expectations are clearly understood and consistently supported, taking account of individual needs and should also consider how to build new expectations into their rewards system.”
“It is likely that adverse experiences or lack of routines of regular attendance and classroom discipline may contribute to disengagement with education upon return to school, resulting in increased incidence of poor behaviour. Schools should work with those pupils who may struggle to reengage in school and are at risk of being absent or persistently disruptive, including providing support for overcoming barriers to attendance and behaviour and to help them reintegrate back into school life.”
“We acknowledge that some pupils will return to school having been exposed to a range of adversity and trauma including bereavement, anxiety and in some cases increased welfare and safeguarding risks. This may lead to an increase in social, emotional and mental health concerns and some children, particularly vulnerable groups such as children with a social worker, previously looked-after children who left care through adoption or special guardianship, and young carers, will need additional support and access to services such as educational psychologists, social workers and counsellors. “
More information can be found on the government website here.
Our Behaviour Specialist, Daryl Fong suggests a dynamic approach where pupils are managed on a “case by case basis”. He expects “a lot of children will be feeling the effects of lockdown, but if schools are too lenient, they may set their pupils up to feel that this behaviour is acceptable”. Daryl also notes the importance of habits, stating “the risk of being too patient with children is that they may form habits that become irreversible”
BehaviourWatch can be used as a tool to manage behaviour within the school environment. Our dedicated team will build a system that is bespoke to your exact needs. To arrange a demo, click here.