If #BlackLivesMatter, we have to stop the discriminatory use of exclusion

More years ago than I care to remember, I was sitting on the warm, freshly cut grass of a school playing field watching the kids playing football when a colleague joined me.  “Are you on duty?” “Yes” (thinking that perhaps I should be standing up) “Have you noticed the new lad – *Phillip?” “No –Continue reading “If #BlackLivesMatter, we have to stop the discriminatory use of exclusion”

Making the most of the adolescent brain to create safe school communities

I scandalised book club recently by confessing that I walked the wrong away around the ASDA one way system. In my defence, this wasn’t an act of deliberate defiance so much as a reflection of my lack of visual awareness; there were arrows, yes, but no obvious movement of people one way as the storeContinue reading “Making the most of the adolescent brain to create safe school communities”

Five ways to help children heal when schools reopen

We may not yet know when schools will reopen for all, but one thing is certain; they will need to be therapeutic. We are living a financial catastrophe; a public health emergency; a mass community trauma. And trauma always falls hardest on still-developing children. The notion that they are naturally resilient is supported by none ofContinue reading “Five ways to help children heal when schools reopen”

An assembly about behaviour and fairness #trauma-informed

Why an assembly on behaviour, fairness and trauma? Lincolnshire is one of a growing number of LAs promoting trauma-informed practice in schools, and leaders – some already well well ahead on this agenda – are extremely receptive to the conversation. However, a concern that is often articulated relates to ‘consistency’. How can we be both trauma-informed and consistent?Continue reading “An assembly about behaviour and fairness #trauma-informed”

Why exclusion worsens behaviour

Exclusion is our sanction of choice in England. When a pupil’s behaviour is deemed unacceptable, he or she is separated from the community;  internally or externally, for a fixed period or permanently. It’s standard practice, normalised here, accepted uncritically by most as the way to discipline pupils when they cross those ‘lines in the sand’Continue reading “Why exclusion worsens behaviour”

Consequences not working? Try this.

Dr Greene maintains throughout Lost in School that “kids do well if they can; if a kid could do well, he would do well.” (p54) Challenging behaviour occurs when the demands placed on a pupil outstrip her skills to respond adaptively. To enable the precise identification of lagging skills, Greene recommends his ALSUP (Assessment of LearningContinue reading “Consequences not working? Try this.”

Why Ofsted need to inspect SEND services – a parent perspective

Originally posted on National Deaf Children's Society Campaigns blog:
Matt Keer, member of NDCS, guest blogs for us on the Ofsted/CQC consultation on SEND inspections. Dear Ofsted & CQC, I’ve got two profoundly deaf boys. I’ve sent a response to your consultation about how to inspect special educational needs and disability provision in local…

 A game changing reading intervention for secondary students

Some months ago I wrote a post about this research from the University of York which highlights what is for me the scandalous fact that more than half of poor readers are not identified as requiring intervention at any point during their secondary education. In this alarming chart from the report, poor readers are defined as those with aContinue reading ” A game changing reading intervention for secondary students”