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Behaviour and discipline in school Maintaining order Discipline is a necessary part of school life and good discipline is based on an agreement between the school and parents about what is ‎expected of your child. Parents are always encouraged to work with the school to try and solve any problems that may arise.‎ There are specific legal requirements relating to the handling of:‎ • school discipline in general ‎ • detention ‎ • racial and sexual harassment and bullying ‎ Each school's head teacher is responsible for promoting good behaviour and discipline. The head teacher must draw up the school's ‎discipline policy, using the governing body's statement of general principles as a framework. By law, the head teacher must publicise the ‎discipline policy. They may do this by making it known within the schools and to parents, and by bringing it to the attention of students, ‎parents and staff at least once a year.‎ The policy should be regularly reviewed, taking into account the views of students, parents and staff. Essential elements are strategies to ‎tackle bullying, racial and sexual harassment, and the school's policy on detention. Overall, the policy should:‎ • promote self-discipline and proper regard for authority among students ‎ • encourage good behaviour and respect for others ‎ • ensure students' standard of behaviour is acceptable ‎ • regulate students' conduct ‎ ‎"We as a department state that the measures determined by the head teacher under subsection (4) shall be publicised by him in the form of ‎a written document i.e. he shall make the measures generally known within the school and to the parents of registered pupils at the school, ‎and at least once a year take steps to bring them to the attention of all such pupils and parents and all persons employed, or otherwise ‎engaged to provide their services, at the school." - Department for Children, Schools and Families‎ Detention ‎ Detention is one of the sanctions schools can use on disciplinary grounds. The Education Act 1997 gives schools legal backing to detain ‎students after the end of a school session. However, before a school uses detention, the head teacher must:‎ • make all parents, students and staff aware that detention will be used as a sanction ‎ • tell parents of students admitted part way through the school year about the policy ‎ The law also obliges schools to give at least 24 hours' written notice to the parents of the pupil concerned before the detention takes place.‎ Pastoral support programmes ‎ Pastoral support programmes are for students who are at serious risk of permanent exclusion, disaffection or criminal activity. Working ‎together with other relevant services, schools should prepare a planned intervention to help students manage their behaviour more ‎effectively.‎ Behaviour problems Preventing behaviour problems There is a range of preventative action that schools can take to maintain good behaviour. These can range from classroom behaviour ‎management to recognition of pupil achievement. ‎ Managing disruptive behaviour The school's discipline policy needs to be fairly and consistently applied by teachers in handling disruptive behaviour. Effective systems of ‎support for teachers, especially those with less experience need to be agreed by the head teacher. Schools should be alert to the fact that ‎some difficult behaviour results from special educational needs which are not met, such as emotional and behavioural difficulties.‎ Use of force to restrain ‎ The Education Act 1996 clarifies the powers of teachers and other staff in school to use reasonable force to prevent students from:‎ • committing a crime ‎ • causing injury or damage ‎ • causing disruption ‎ There is no legal definition of reasonable force. However, in exceptional circumstances where there is an immediate risk of injury, a ‎member of the school staff may need to take necessary action that is consistent with the concept of reasonable force. For example, to ‎prevent:‎ • a young pupil running off a pavement on to a busy road ‎ • a pupil hitting someone ‎ • a pupil from throwing an object ‎ Corporal punishment, which is defined as any intentional application of force for the purpose of punishment, is unlawful.‎ On 1 March 2005, the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) published 'managing challenging behaviour', a report looking into ‎behaviour in schools and other educational settings. These settings included early years provision, mainstream and special schools, pupil ‎referral units, secure training centres and colleges. The aim of the report was to analyse types of behaviour that schools and other settings ‎find challenging to deal with and to evaluate their responses to it. The report is available below.‎ Next Steps Sometimes speaking to parents and carers who have experienced the same issues and problems as ‎you can be a great way to get valuable advice and information. Read, respond or ask a question in ‎the ‎ ‎'Behaviour and discipline' ‎ ‎ section of the ParentsCentre forum. You may also be interested in ‎paying a visit to the ‎ ‎'Parental rights and responsibilities' ‎ ‎, ‎ ‎'Worried about...' ‎ ‎ and ‎ ‎'Family ‎matters - being a parent or carer' ‎ ‎ sections for similar discussions.‎ Benefit from the advice and tips given by our experts by reading or asking a question in the ‎ ‎Experts' views forum.‎



 
 
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