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 “

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.”

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.”

Hearing the voices of young people at risk of exclusion. 

I happened upon a fascinating, densely referenced research study by Bethany Hawkins (University of York, 2011) recently. Its aim was to hear the voices of pupils at risk of exclusion and to identify what they perceived to be the barriers to engagement at school as well as the potential enablers. Through a series of semi-structured interviews, theContinue reading “Hearing the voices of young people at risk of exclusion. “

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.”

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”

Is the Reformed English Literature GCSE legal?

   1st June 2015 Dear Nicky Morgan MP I write to you as both a SEND and English teaching specialist. I am deeply concerned about the new English Literature GCSE because I think it flouts equalities legislation. That is, I think it will not allow SEND and low attaining learners to fully demonstrate their knowledge,Continue reading “Is the Reformed English Literature GCSE legal?”

Rigour or Discrimination? The Reformed GCSEs

A Post Submitted to The Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS)  EASS advice can now be read beneath the post I write as a SENCO, English teacher and senior leader working in an 11-16 high school. It is my firm belief that ‘strengthened’ GCSEs violate the 2010 Equality Act and I seek advice as to whatContinue reading “Rigour or Discrimination? The Reformed GCSEs”