England’s exclusion epidemic

In July 2017, the Children’s Commissioner published  Vulnerability in Children  – a report that brought together a range of information from government departments, agencies and others to reveal “shocking statistics” about how many children currently  live in vulnerable situations; an estimated half a million, or a number equivalent to the entire population of  Manchester. FallingContinue reading “England’s exclusion epidemic”

How & why we must meet the attachment needs of adolescents in school.

WHY? Many studies confirm that secure attachment, the foundation of socioemotional wellbeing, is associated with higher grades and standardised scores compared to insecure attachment. Secure attachment is also associated with greater emotional regulation, social skills and willingness to accept challenges. (e.g. Bergin & Bergin, 2009) Because these effects tend to be greater for high-risk pupils,Continue reading “How & why we must meet the attachment needs of adolescents in school.”

Three reasons why every school should support No Pens Day

In his government commissioned review of services for young people with communication difficulties, John Bercow made a powerful case for early intervention by highlighting the “multiple risks” that children face when their communication needs are not met. These include “lower educational attainment, behaviour problems, emotional and psychological difficulties, poorer employment prospects, challenges to mental health and,Continue reading “Three reasons why every school should support No Pens Day”

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.”