School leaders set out how a great culture achieves positive behaviour

“Schools must be trusted to continue to set and implement behaviour policies”

The Confederation of School Trusts and Parents and Teachers for Excellence today published a series of articles by education leaders outlining how they created great school cultures to achieve positive behaviour.

The two organisations have today published a pamphlet, The Question of Behaviour, featuring articles by nine education leaders, from different institutions and contexts, on why their policy ensures a safe and orderly environment, where behaviour is positive and where learning can take place without disruption.

They said it demonstrated why school leaders must continue to be trusted to set and implement behaviour policies that they deem right for their students and staff, including being allowed to permanently exclude students when they judge it necessary.

Ofsted figures show that 86% of schools in England were judged Good or Outstanding in their most recent inspection.

Mark Lehain, Director of Parents and Teachers for Excellence (PTE), said:
“We know that the behaviour in most English schools is now far better than before – the days of Grange Hill are thankfully long behind us. However, we also know from our very best schools how incredible a culture can be with the careful consideration, design, and implementation.

“The very best schools make use of the freedoms and rights available to them to ensure every child is safe and able to learn, and staff are safe and free to teach. They are clear in the expectations of every member of the school community, and how they will support all to meet these. And they don’t shy away from difficult situations to enforce their high standards, as they believe that everyone can live up to them.

“This collection of essays from leaders in a range of different institutions and contexts explore the ways schools have set out to ensure the very best behaviour for their community, and offers insights that the wider system can learn from.”

Leora Cruddas, Chief Executive of the Confederation of School Trusts (CST), said:
“Every parent wants their children to go to a school where they are safe, and not worry that they are bullied or that learning is routinely disrupted – and the vast majority of schools and classrooms are orderly places.

“It is vital school leaders continue to be trusted to develop and implement behaviour policies that ensure this. It is a complex and expert task. The ultimate sanction of permanent exclusion is rightly only used in the most serious instances.

“If we want children to know and accept the rules of society – that one cannot with impunity be violent to others, for instance – then we need to trust school leaders to have the ultimate sanction at their disposal. Deciding to exclude is never easy and school leaders take that responsibility very seriously. Powers to exclude must not be curtailed.

“Behaviour policies should be part of the overall educational philosophy of a school or trust, and a set of beliefs about the common good. The articles in the pamphlet we are publishing today are examples of different behaviour policies from different school leaders – but each has been developed in line with their school or trust’s overall ethos.”

The Question of Behaviour can be viewed here.

The following school leaders have contributed, with forewords by Leora Cruddas, Chief Executive of the Confederation of School Trusts; Mark Lehain, Director of Parents & Teachers for Excellence; and Tom Bennett, independent behaviour adviser to the Department for Education, and founder of researched.

  • Ian Bauckham, Chief Executive Officer, Tenax Schools Trust
  • Tim Blake, Principal, Bedford Free School
  • Helena Brothwell, Principal, Queen Elizabeth’s Academy, Mansfield
  • Stuart Gardner, Chief Executive Officer, the Thinking Schools Academy Trust
  • Chris Humphries, Director of Performance, ACE Schools Multi Academy Trust, Plymouth
  • Simon Knight, Joint Headteacher, Frank Wise School, Banbury, Oxfordshire
  • Jenny Thompson, Principal, Dixons Trinity Academy, Bradford
  • Richard Tutt, Principal, Magna Academy
  • Cassie Young, Head of School, Brenzett Church of England Primary School, Romney Marsh