Helping vulnerable pupils cope with managed moves, or other transitions

Most Local Authorities have Fair Access panels or similar collaborative arrangements through which troubled and troubling pupils are afforded the opportunity of a ‘fresh start’ when things are going badly in their current school. Some may be referred to the LA’s PRU through this process whilst others will transfer to neighbouring schools. Parents and pupilContinue reading “Helping vulnerable pupils cope with managed moves, or other transitions”

Punished for being born with a difficulty, common practice

The latest annual DfE statistical release on exclusions, which reported an increase for the second consecutive year, divided opinion. Whilst many were alarmed by the rise from 5,795 permanent exclusions in 2014/15 to 6,685 in 2015/16, others felt that, at thirty-five pupils a day, there should be no real cause for concern. “Equivalent to aContinue reading “Punished for being born with a difficulty, common practice”

Look for the helpers (an assembly) #Manchester #WeStandTogether

Note I was still working in a high school at the time of the 2015 Paris attacks. I wrote an assembly and shared it on Twitter. A number of people found it helpful so I’ve adapted it to apply to Manchester. With the two events horribly similar, this wasn’t difficult. The assembly begins with aContinue reading “Look for the helpers (an assembly) #Manchester #WeStandTogether”

Pupil mobility, the widening gap and misplaced faith in Hirsch 

The first few days of a new job are always testing. Your colleagues are actually strangers so you feel an outsider and under scrutiny. You don’t know your way around or where anything is. People keep telling you stuff but there’s very little you’re actually absorbing  just yet. The things people really do need toContinue reading “Pupil mobility, the widening gap and misplaced faith in Hirsch “

Attachment Aware Schools: The Meet and Greet

The Sutton Trust Research finding that 40% of today’s children don’t benefit from good enough  parenting to ‘succeed in life’ has major implications for the way we do things in school. Especially the way we do behaviour. It’s interesting to note that the study found that boys’ behaviour is more adversely affected by early parenting, orContinue reading “Attachment Aware Schools: The Meet and Greet”

Differentiated Behaviour Management. An inclusion essential

If ‘no excuses’ means that inappropriate, disrespectful, risky behaviour must always be squarely addressed, then nobody would take issue with it. If, on the other hand, it means that such behaviour must always be addressed in the same way, according to an inflexible ‘do this-get that’ policy, then the approach is not compatible with inclusion.Continue reading “Differentiated Behaviour Management. An inclusion essential”

Inclusion. Children do get it.

When my eldest daughter was in Year 4, a new boy joined her class who had difficulty managing his behaviour. He’d call out, bounce out of his seat, huff and puff over his work, lose his temper sometimes. Meg saw his frustration just as, I’m quite sure, her classmates and the teacher did. She didn’tContinue reading “Inclusion. Children do get it.”

In defence of the ‘Velcro TA’

The factors affecting the capacity for learning are related to the capacity for relationship. In order to enable such children to improve access to learning, one has to pay particular attention to processes of relationship. (Greenlalgh, 1994) Swiss electrical engineer George de Mestral invented his first touch fastener in 1941 when he returned from aContinue reading “In defence of the ‘Velcro TA’”

Communication for inclusion. Language strategies that help insecurely attached pupils succeed in school

Developments in neuroscience mean that the impact of loss and trauma on early brain development is widely understood. However, Louise Bomber’s Inside I’m Hurting (2007) contends that education has not kept up with other fields in relation to the development of specific practical strategies to support the inclusion of children with attachment needs. Her book isContinue reading “Communication for inclusion. Language strategies that help insecurely attached pupils succeed in school”

The facts suggest that institionalised discrimination is entrenching disadvantage.

We are firmly committed in our English schools to equality and inclusion, on paper. Current DfE Guidance on Behaviour & Discipline (January, 2016) makes several clear references to a legal requirement under the 2010 Equality Act for behaviour policies to make reasonable adjustments in relation to disabled children and those with SEN. For example, we are remindedContinue reading “The facts suggest that institionalised discrimination is entrenching disadvantage.”