This guide provides a framework that governing bodies/employers and school leaders can use to develop their behaviour management policy. It also provides a checklist that teachers and school leaders can use to check whether their school’s behaviour management policy addresses all of the key issues appropriately.

Principles

The behaviour policy principles:

  1. Explain the purpose of the policy and how it relates to teaching and learning and the wider school environment.
  • Examples of what might be included under the purpose of the policy and its relationship to teaching and learning, and the wider school environment:
enabling effective teaching and learning to take place;
ensuring good behaviour in all aspects of school life;
promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils;
creating a caring learning environment;
contributing to a socially cohesive community.
  1. Set out what the behaviour policy seeks to achieve.
  • Examples of what the policy should seek to achieve include:
creating and maintaining an environment that enables teachers to teach effectively and pupils to achieve and succeed;
promoting good behaviour;
promoting self-esteem, self-discipline, proper regard for authority and positive relationships based on mutual respect;
ensuring equality and fairness of treatment for all;
encouraging consistency of response to both positive and negative behaviour;
promoting early intervention;
providing a safe environment free from disruption, violence, bullying and any form of harassment;
encouraging a positive relationship with parents and carers to develop a shared approach, involving them in the implementation of the school’s policy and associated procedures;
promoting positive relations between different groups within both the school and the wider community.
  1. Include a commitment to engage key stakeholders. Key stakeholders should include trade unions, teachers, parents/carers and pupils in both the development and review of the policy.

Roles and responsibilities

  1. The policy explains the roles and responsibilities of the governing body/employer, headteacher/principal, senior leaders and staff with specific responsibilities for behaviour management, teachers, support staff, pupils, parents/carers, volunteers and visitors to the school.
  2. The policy states that the governing body/employer is responsible for:
establishing the policy for promoting good behaviour in consultation with the headteacher, staff, trade unions, parents/carers and pupils;
keeping the policy under review;
ensuring that the policy is communicated to pupils and parents/carers;
ensuring that the policy has been assessed for its equality impact and that appropriate action has been taken to address issues that may have an adverse impact;
ensuring that the policy has been assessed for its poverty impact and that appropriate action has been taken to address issues that may have an adverse impact;
ensuring that the policy has been assessed for its workload impact and that appropriate action has been taken to address issues that may have an adverse impact;
ensuring that the school’s expectations about pupil behaviour are made clear;
supporting staff who face challenging behaviour;
supporting the school to maintain high standards of behaviour;
ensuring that the policy does not discriminate and that it advances equality and good relations between protected groups;
ensuring that the concerns of staff and pupils are listened to and appropriately addressed.
  1. The policy makes it clear that the headteacher/principal:
is responsible for the day-to-day management and implementation of the school’s behaviour policy and procedures;
will support staff who face challenging behaviour;
will ensure that the school conducts equality, workload and poverty impact assessments and that the findings from assessments inform decisions about the behaviour policy and related policies, procedures and strategies;
will ensure that the policy and procedures are applied fairly and consistently;
will ensure that the concerns of pupils are listened to and appropriately addressed.
  1. The policy identifies the senior leaders and staff with specific responsibilities for behaviour management.
  2. The policy makes it clear that teachers, other staff and volunteers are responsible for:
implementing the agreed policy and procedures consistently and fairly;
providing mutual support to other staff (and volunteers, where appropriate) to ensure consistent and fair implementation of the policy and procedures;
advising the headteacher/principal on the effectiveness of the policy and procedures;
ensuring that there is no differential application of the policy and procedures, including on grounds of ethnic or national origin, culture, religion, gender, disability, sexuality or socio-economic status;
ensuring that the concerns of pupils are listened to and appropriately addressed.
  1. The policy makes it clear that parents/carers:
are expected to take responsibility for their child both inside and outside the school;
are expected to work in partnership with the school to assist the school to maintain high standards of behaviour;
will be encouraged to raise any issues arising from the operation of the behaviour policy with the school.
  1. The policy makes it clear that pupils:
will be made fully aware of the school’s policy, procedures and expectations;
are expected to take responsibility for their own behaviour both on and off the school site;
are responsible for ensuring that they report incidents of disruption, violence and any form of bullying and harassment.

Procedures

  1. The policy explains that the procedures:
will be developed by the headteacher/principal in consultation with the staff, trade unions and other key stakeholders;
will make clear to pupils how acceptable standards of behaviour can be achieved;
have a clear rationale that will be made explicit to staff, pupils and parents/carers;
will help the policy to be applied consistently and fairly;
should help every member of staff to fulfil their professional responsibility towards the whole community.

Rewards

  1. The policy explains how good behaviour will be promoted and encouraged.
  2. The policy explains that rewards will be clearly defined in the procedures.

Sanctions

  1. The policy explains that a range of sanctions will be defined in the procedures.
  2. The policy explains that the procedures will set out when particular sanctions will be used and the changes in behaviour that will be required to avoid further sanctions.
  3. The policy explains that the procedures will make a clear distinction between different levels of sanction and how those sanctions will be applied.

Equality

  1. The policy makes it clear that the school will take steps to ensure that rewards and sanctions are applied fairly and equitably.
  2. The policy:
makes reference to the use of monitoring to establish whether particular groups of pupils are more or less likely to receive rewards or sanctions;
makes reference to the school making reasonable adjustments for pupils who have a disability;
  • Failure to make reasonable adjustments could result in a claim of unlawful discrimination. A court or tribunal will make a decision about what is reasonable as an adjustment.
  • Regulation 4(1)(c) of the Equality Act 2010 (Disability) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010 No2128) states that ‘a tendency to physical…abuse of other persons’ is an excluded condition from impairments of disability. However, the Upper Tribunal has ruled that this is incompatible with Section 3 of the Human Rights Act 1998. The case highlights the importance of schools ensuring that they seek to anticipate a pupil’s needs and make reasonable adjustments to meet those needs.
makes reference to the use of equality impact assessments to identify the needs of different groups of pupils and to assess whether particular school policies, procedures or practices are likely to have a positive or negative impact on the behaviour of particular groups of pupils;
  • The school should undertake equality impact assessments of pupils who share a protected characteristic under equalities legislation (The Equality Act (2010) in England, Wales and Scotland, and section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 in Northern Ireland). Equality impact assessments of the behaviour policy should also include pupils with particular types of special educational needs (SEN)/Additional Support Needs (ASN)/ additional learning needs (ALN), pupils with caring responsibilities, looked after children and pupils from lower socio- economic backgrounds.
explains how the school will address inequalities and mitigate adverse impact relating to pupil behaviour that has been identified through impact assessments.

Training, development and support

  1. The policy includes a commitment that the governing body/employer will ensure that all staff will receive appropriate, high-quality training, development and support on all aspects of behaviour management to support the implementation of the behaviour policy.

Interrelationship with other school policies

  1. The behaviour policy explains the links to other policies, particularly those for equal opportunities, SEN/ASN and inclusion, anti-bullying, curriculum, assessment, community cohesion, anti-poverty, safeguarding, health and safety, and staff wellbeing.

Involvement of outside agencies

  1. The policy sets out the school’s commitment to work with external agencies to promote positive behaviour, manage behaviour, or meet the behaviour needs of particular pupils.
  2. The policy indicates how the school will use external support and the steps that will be taken to assure the quality and appropriateness of the support provided.

Policy development and review

  • The behaviour policy will be most effective when it has been developed by all key stakeholder groups in the school and they have a genuine sense of ownership of the policy.
  1. The behaviour management policy explains that:
key stakeholder groups were involved in the development of the policy and names those stakeholders;
  • Key stakeholders include the governing body/employer, the headteacher/principal, teachers, other staff, trade unions, pupils and parents/carers.
the headteacher will undertake systematic monitoring of the behaviour policy;
the headteacher will conduct regular reviews of the behaviour policy and associated procedures to ensure that they are being implemented effectively, fairly and consistently;
  • Reviews should make use of equality monitoring data, including data relating to ethnic or national origin, culture, religion, disability, sexuality, socio-economic background, SEN/ASN/ALN and looked-after status.
the governing body/employer will regularly review the policy and associated procedures, to ensure their continuing appropriateness and effectiveness;
monitoring and reviews of the behaviour policy will take place in consultation with staff, trade unions and other key stakeholders;
the outcome of reviews will be communicated to staff, trade unions, parents/carers and pupils along with proposals for any changes to the policy and related procedures.