As the end of the year approaches, use this guide from Behaviour Matters to evaluate how well your school’s behaviour management strategies are working and to plan for the year ahead

This Behaviour Matters consists of an end-of-year guide to use when evaluating your own and your school’s approaches to behaviour management on three levels:

  • whole-school issues
  • classroom issues
  • managing the individual student.

The Steer report on behaviour (Learning Behaviour, DfES 2005) recommended that schools should ‘undertake an audit of pupil behaviour’ and that ‘in undertaking the audit schools should reflect on 10 aspects of school practice that, when effective, contribute to the quality of pupil behaviour.’ Taking the 10 aspects suggested in the report as a starting point, the guide below outlines the main points to consider in areas such as consistency, school leadership, classroom management and so on.

  1. Maintaining a consistent approach to behaviour management and teaching: How do you ensure that your school behaviour policy and styles of teaching are consistently applied by all staff members? Are school/classroom rules published and displayed around the school? Are these rules and expectations referred to and reinforced? Is behaviour management routinely discussed at whole-staff meetings, department meetings and between staff working together in the classroom?
  2.  School leadership: What are the lines of communication between all staff and the senior leadership team? Are your views heard and considered? Are decisions made based on objective evidence? Are you aware of how behaviour management links into the school development plan?
  3. Classroom management, learning and teaching: Do lessons take account of the individual needs of all students with regard to behaviour management? How is ‘in class’ support utilised? How is behaviour tracked, monitored and reported on? What impact do seating plans, leaning styles, resources available and environmental issues have on student behaviour?
  4. Rewards and sanctions: How effective are your rewards and sanctions? Do your systems reflect whole-school guidelines? How involved were students in the development of your systems? How are rewards and sanctions recorded and used in feedback to students? How often are your systems reviewed?
  5. Behaviour strategies and the teaching of good behaviour: How do you and other staff members act as good role models for behaviour? Relationships and communication between staff members can be crucial in developing a consistent and effective approach to managing behaviour. How do you share good practice between all stakeholders, ie teachers, support, technical and admin staff, lunchtime supervisors and parents? 
  6. Staff development and support: Review your recent CPD, both in and outside school. How accessible is it? Do the activities link with your own professional needs, the school development plan and the needs of the students? How are activities shared by staff members?
  7. Pupil support systems: Do pupils fully understand the school/classroom rules and expectations? What support is available to students re behavioural issues? How do students access the available support? How effective is that support?
  8. Liaison with parents and other agencies: Review your current communication systems. Do you have the chance to meet face-to-face with parents? Do you use text, email or phone? What are the current guidelines regarding communication with parents and outside agencies? Are there key workers appointed in your school? Does information flow both ways with outside agencies.
  9. Managing pupil transition: Pupil transition is not only between schools and/or between years, but for some students this can be a major issue, and can have a detrimental effect on behaviour even when transition is between lessons or from one activity to another. How is this handled in your school? Who is responsible for managing all aspects of transition? How good is communication regarding transition?
  10. Organisation and facilities: What effect does the environment have on the behaviour of students? Are there any improvements or changes which could be made? What resources do you have available to ensure that learning styles and individual needs are responded to?

You will probably be aware of many of the points mentioned above. However, when you apply them to behaviour management you will find it much easier to reflect on what has gone well over the last 12 months, and what changes you need to make to improve student behaviour.

This e-bulletin issue was first published in December 2010

About the author: Dave Stott has 30 years’ teaching experience including seven years as a headteacher. He has worked in mainstream and special schools, and Local Authority behaviour support services. Dave is now a writer, consultant and trainer.