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”

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”

Teachers aren’t therapists, but our impact is huge.

‘Teachers aren’t therapists’ is a statement of the obvious that concerns me. Its subtext is that we are teachers of subjects and nothing more. It’s an expression of the new era ushered in by Michael Gove, in which pupils are expected to “attend to an expert” (The Importance of Teaching, 2013) all ears and eagerness toContinue reading “Teachers aren’t therapists, but our impact is huge.”

Enough crisis talk – it’s time to act.

A couple of weeks ago, the DfE published the outcomes of a longitudinal study of health and wellbeing. It reports that one in every three adolescent girls in the UK is suffering psychological distress. Just a week later, The Good Childhood Report from the Children Society and The University of York warned of a sharp increase inContinue reading “Enough crisis talk – it’s time to act.”

They really care about us here

I’ve been working on a film about the impact of permanent exclusion over the past few months. Among other things, I wanted to explore how some pupils were able to succeed in their new mainstream schools despite a history of ‘persistent misconduct’. Was it that the shock of the exclusion triggered some kind of wakeContinue reading “They really care about us here”

‘We need to get the parents in’ – reimagined

How productive are these meetings, really? When a pupil, persistently dusruptive let’s say, has notched up enough behaviour points on SIMS for ‘parents in’ to be the next step? How often do we then see a sustained or even short lived improvement in general attitude and behaviour? Rarely, I’d suggest – if only the problemContinue reading “‘We need to get the parents in’ – reimagined”

Inclusion – It takes a village

The truth of this was illustrated to me recently at a reintegration meeting. A pupil, Joe, let’s say, had been excluded for a fixed term following a major incident, one that had shaken his school’s orderly community. Pupils had been frightened, the police called, Facebook was on fire with the episode and parents were talking.Continue reading “Inclusion – It takes a village”

A Special Challenge – Inclusion and Behavioural Difficulty

Published in 2011, Mainstream Inclusion, Special Challenges: Strategies for Children with BESD predates SEND reform, hence the BESD categorisation, but its recommendations remain as relevant today as they were at the time of writing. With a deeply concerning Jospeph Rowntree Foundation report this week confirming that seven in every ten pupils permanently excluded from English schools have SENContinue reading “A Special Challenge – Inclusion and Behavioural Difficulty”

Zero Tolerance and No Excuses, or Compassion and Learning?

As educators, it’s important we respond to the fact that we have in the UK a mental health crisis. Clearly, business as usual isn’t working for our young people. A plethora of deeply concerning  statistics from Young Minds exposes the scale of the growing problem, including the fact that we have seen a massive 68% increase inContinue reading “Zero Tolerance and No Excuses, or Compassion and Learning?”

Talking Self-harm with Parents

 Kate and Marijke, our CAMHS Speakers    Thank you for supporting this event – our third session for parents on adolescent mental health and the second we’ve had on self-harm. I’m going to hand over to the experts from CAMHS in just a few minutes but I wanted to begin by providing some context for their presentation.  Continue reading “Talking Self-harm with Parents”