Webinar Series: Managing Behaviour and Reducing School Exclusions: 4 Presentations for SLT, School Staff, Governors and Parents

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This course on managing behaviour and reducing the risk of exclusions is comprised of 4 videos:

Video 1: For Senior Leadership Teams

This presentation will describe the scale of the issue and shows the dramatic rise in both permanent and fixed term exclusions over the last 4 years. It focuses on the main reason for both permanent and fixed term exclusions: Persistent Disruptive Behaviour or PDB. It will outline both the challenges and also the opportunities for meeting the needs of students at risk by posing 3 key questions and supplying 3 key solutions. It will then introduce the SF3R model for behavioural intervention.

Video 2:   For Teaching and Support Staff

This is a presentation for both teaching and support staff working with students at risk for both permanent and fixed term exclusion, particularly for PDB. It will demonstrate how the SF3R approach where Structure, Flexibility, Rapport, Relationships and Resilience can be applied in order to meet the learning, behaviour and socialisation needs of students who may be struggling in both the primary and secondary school setting. It will outline a sample of approaches and support strategies to deal with demanding, disruptive and defiant individuals and to de-escalate difficult situations.

Video 3: For Parents and Carers

This presentation will consider how parents can work in partnership with the school in terms of children at risk for fixed and permanent exclusions, particularly for PDB. It will provide some tips for supporting children with behavioural issues at home and will outline effective ways of communication with the school.

Video 4:  For School Governors

This presentation will describe the scale of the issue and shows the dramatic rise in both permanent and fixed term exclusions over the last 4 years. It will consider some of the policies and procedures involved in the school exclusion process and will outline how the SF3R approach may well be an option to reduce the rate of exclusions particularly for PDB across the school. In order to balance out the risk, we will describe how resilience can also be an important factor in helping to support students and staff within the school community.

Overview

Exclusion is a process that is necessary on some occasions particularly in terms of the health and safety of individuals, damage to property and/or serious infringement of schools rules and procedures. PDB the main term that is used in the exclusion process has no standardized definition that appears to have been agreed upon. It is basically used to cover a spectrum of behaviours, from calling-out in class, annoying/distracting other students and general attention seeking. Permanent exclusions for PDB do not occur as a one-off incident as in other cases such as an assault on a member of staff or issues regarding drugs or weapons but rather as a culmination of a number of days of fixed term exclusions which would need to reach 45 days in any one academic year. Fixed term exclusions are usually between 1 to 5 days therefore for someone to be permanently excluded for PDB they would have multiple fixed term exclusions for PDB. In terms of attitude and policy regarding exclusion in the last 4 years there have been changes with regards to the advised responses to behaviours which fit within the PDB spectrum. This would include Zero tolerance approaches with regards to low level disruption and failure to follow school policies and procedures.

There are as result 3 main principles to be explored here.

  1. What exactly does the term PDB actually mean?
  2. Why do schools continue to issue multiple fixed term exclusions for PDB when this approach does not change the outcome and what could be done differently?
  3. What could be done to help teachers and schools to support students who exhibit PDB characteristics?

The term PDB by its present description of “a spectrum of behaviours, from calling-out in class, annoying/distracting other students and general attention seeking” would appear to fit many of the criteria of the term Attention Deficit Disorder ADHD and associated conditions including Oppositional Defiant Disorder ODD and Conduct Disorder CD. ADHD is a term that describes 3 main traits Impulsivity, Inattention and Hyperactivity and these traits can often lead to distractible, demanding, difficult and disruptive behaviour in a school setting if not identified and supported effectively. As one of the core traits of ADHD is Impulsivity this means that many actions or behaviours are not premeditated. As a result, sanctions would be unlikely to change the outcomes of negative choices made by the individual and this is why a repetitive punitive process such as multiple fixed term exclusions will not alter the outcome. Students with ADHD do respond effectively to the teaching and learning environment that can offer a structured and flexible approach to learning and behaviour.

I believe the following is therefore required:

  1. To consider whether the issues within the term PDB may in fact be undetected traits of ADHD and overlapping conditions including ODD and CD.
  2. To consider after the second Fixed term exclusion for PDB that the student excluded would take the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) in order to ascertain whether point 1 was a significant factor
  3. Staff would thereafter require Training through the SF3R approach on how best to support this child in order to prevent further potential exclusions.

The SF3R approach is behaviour for learning training programme for individuals with ADHD and associated conditions with 5 major components.

Structure

  • School leadership approach for building the habits for learning, behaviour and socialisation
  • To create behaviour policies to reflect the current circumstances and to train the staff first
  • Rules, Rituals and Routines for children and young person’s being taught and not told

Flexibility

  • To focus on Mood and Motivation
  • A whole school acceptance and understanding Neurodiversity
  • Alternative ways of supporting skills in learning, behaviour and socialisation

Rapport

  • Effective communication with children and young persons
  • Practical strategies for dealing with frustration and defiance
  • Feedback for students including rewards and consequences

Relationships

  • Developing effective staff to student and peer to peer relationships
  • Dealing with bullying behaviour
  • Working in Partnership between school and home

Resilience

  • Unleashing the Power of Resilience
  • Preparing for Transitions
  • Role modelling good practice