We have all seen and heard the news that Ofsted has launched the consultancy into their revised inspection framework to potentially come into place in September 2019. Within the proposed changes, change to the judgment of personal development, behaviour and welfare split – We at ABLE applaud the changes with this split. Accompany this with the proposed revision in timescales of inspection, meaning inspectors could potentially be onsite within 2.5 hours of informing the premises … making an interesting time ahead for schools.
ABLE Training has been specialising in the area of ‘positive behaviour’ and ‘managing behaviour that challenges’ since we started. We also teach Positive Handling and Physical Intervention courses, but we work on the philosophy that anyone learning physical skills to manage behaviour must have a foundation of positive behavioural support and de-escalation. Physical intervention is always a last resort as should be permanent pupil exclusion but if there is no evidence of all the other options that have been explored (including staff being trained to understand, support and manage behaviour) how can it ever be justified.
We are impressed that Ofsted has finally recognised that schools need to be judged separately on these points and leaders should become accountable for helping teaching staff in managing the behaviour of its pupils.
One of the top reasons stated by an article published by the Guardian in April 2018 (https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/apr/10/lesson-battle-why-teachers-lining-up-leave) for teachers leaving the profession is pupil behaviour and a lack of support from management in reducing the stress caused by these incidents. Amanda Speilman, Ofsted Chief Inspector stated in her statement regarding the new proposed framework “The tough business of behaviour and the attitudes pupils bring to learning and a school’s approach to things like attendance, bullying and exclusions are best considered separately from the question of pupils’ wider personal development, such as the opportunities they have to learn about being active, healthy and engaged citizens.”
Although ABLE are aware of the pressure put on to staff and teachers within schools to meet targets, these changes may become the change required to move focus. Allowing schools to move away from assessing teaching standards by passing exams and encourage those running the schools to be more focused on addressing issues around behaviour. One way this may be achieved is by providing staff training and support to manage the incidents that can impact on pupil progress and learning. ABLE training feels understanding the principles of positive behavioural support and de-escalation should be a minimum requirement for all staff that work with children regardless of whether teachers currently work with children present behaviour that challenges. This knowledge should also be regularly updated and refreshed to encourage ongoing reviews in practice and to review the current needs of the pupils within their setting. With these new potential new Ofsted changes this is the time to start getting this training in place.
There are many reasons for changes in behaviours of pupils these can impact behaviour and concentration in young children all the way through to the later teenage years and sometimes they don’t have to be obvious reasons, these reasons can present at any time in or out of school. Behaviour is communication of needs and this is something that desperately needs to be understood within education settings. Preparing teachers and school staff with the tools and the knowledge to be confident in aiding these pupils needs from the first instance may relieve stress for both the pupil and the staff. The long term effects with staff being able to understand why pupils may behave in certain ways, allows them to put things in place to aid that pupil. This, in turn, may improve the whole classrooms culture. Learning, pupil progress, minimising disruption and improving their own workload could all be achieved. From this one pebble in the pond, the ripple effect could include lower exclusion rates, reduced stress levels for staff, lower staff turnover and because of these, improved exam results across the board. All helping satisfy Ofsted potential new guidelines. Obviously, this is spanning out to the much larger picture, but this is a direction we are passionate about and would love to see these changes implemented.