Teachers cannot teach and pupils cannot learn in an environment where there is disruption and violence, and where such behaviour occurs it cannot be explained away simply by attributing it to a teacher’s inability to plan and deliver a lesson effectively.
The work done by the NASUWT over many years has ensured that Governments, employers, inspectors and many parents now accept these important considerations.
Through its experience of working with teachers and school leaders on behaviour issues, the NASUWT has identified eight fundamental principles of good school practice:
- the primary purpose of the behaviour policy and procedures should be to create and maintain a learning environment where all pupils and staff are respected, all pupils can achieve and succeed and all teachers can teach effectively;
- all pupils and staff should be kept safe. They should be able to study, work and live without fear of violence, intimidation, harassment, abuse or disruption;
- schools should establish a clear and consistent approach to behaviour management;
- staff should have an entitlement and appropriate access to training and support on behaviour matters;
- schools should work in partnership with staff, including trade unions, parents and pupils, to develop, implement and review their behaviour policies;
- schools’ behaviour policies should comply with equalities legislation and their duty to promote community cohesion;
- policies and related procedures for behaviour management should not be burdensome or unnecessarily bureaucratic; and
- headteachers should be empowered to exercise their professional judgement responsibly in the use of exclusion.
The NASUWT is clear that no school can expect to establish and maintain positive pupil discipline unless it is committed to putting these principles into practice. The Union will represent the interests of teachers and school leaders robustly where schools’ practices fall short of the standards that they can reasonably expect.
If you have a concern about the way in which behaviour is being managed in your school, advice and support should be sought from the NASUWT immediately.