Governors’ Statement of General Principles with Regard to Behaviour of Pupils
This statement has been drawn up in accordance with the Education and Inspection Act 2006 and the Department for Education (DfE) Guidance for Governors on Behaviour and Discipline in Schools, September 2015.
The purpose of the statement is to provide guidance to the Headteacher in drafting the school’s Behaviour Policy so that it reflects the values of the school and the shared aspirations of governors, parents/carers of pupils, staff and pupils at the school. It also highlights appropriate legislation and guidance which need to be reflected in the policy.
The Headteacher must ensure that the Behaviour Policy is made available to staff, parents/carers and pupils and is posted on the school website. The Policy and Statement of Principles will be reviewed annually.
- The right to feel safe at all times. All children and staff have the right to feel safe at school as do visitors to the school.
- High standards of behaviour. High standards of behaviour are essential to facilitate effective teaching and learning and to ensure a happy, vibrant, productive and safe learning environment through the whole school.
Governors also expect pupils to display the high standards of behaviour demanded at school when they are representing the school off-site at school-related events and visits, when they are travelling to and from school and when they are wearing the school uniform off-site. The Policy will outline the action to be taken by the school when such bad (non-criminal) behaviour is observed or reported to the school.
- The uniqueness of each individual. The Behaviour Policy will recognise that children have varying needs and backgrounds and some pupils may need additional support to meet the behaviour expectations of the school. The school has legal obligations (Equality Act 2010) in meeting the needs of pupils identified as having Special Educational Needs and those identified as ‘vulnerable’ and will seek the involvement of external agencies to assist in behaviour support as and when necessary.
All members of the school community should be free from discrimination of any sort as stipulated by the Equality Act 2010. Measures to protect pupils from bullying and discrimination on the basis of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation or background will be clearly set out in the Behaviour Policy. A clear and comprehensive anti-bullying statement will form part of the Policy.
- School Code of Conduct for pupils. The school Code of Conduct for pupils, setting out expected standards of behaviour will be clearly stated in the Behaviour Policy and will be explained to all pupils. The governors expect the Code of Conduct to be consistently applied by all staff.
- Rewards and sanctions. Rewarding the good behaviour of individuals or groups of pupils helps to encourage future patterns of positive behaviour and reinforces aspirations and expectations of the school. A range of reward strategies will be included in the policy.
A hierarchy of sanctions for unacceptable behaviour should also be included and be known and understood by all pupils, staff and parents/carers so that it is clear how and when these are applied. This includes the school’s position on exclusions which should normally be a sanction used as a last resort.
Governors would expect to see the frequency of rewards far outweighing that of sanctions.
- Additional powers to support behaviour management. The Behaviour Policy will also include the following, using the specific guidance issued by the DfE. Governors recognise that these are extreme measures to be used in exceptional circumstances.
- The power of school staff to screen or search a pupil where there is a reasonable belief that he/she possesses an item that that is ‘prohibited’* or banned in accordance with school rules.
- The power to use ‘reasonable force’* and other physical contact to control inappropriate behaviour. Governors expect that appropriate and ‘authorised’* staff have undergone necessary training. The Policy should define ‘reasonable force’.
- Parent/Carer support. Governors expect all parents/carers to be fully informed and encouraged to support the Behaviour Policy and Anti-bullying Statement and for the Home-School Agreement to summarise the main points.
- Allegations against school staff. The Behaviour Policy must set out the disciplinary action to be taken against pupils who are found to have made malicious accusations against school staff. Governors expect the Headteacher to draw on the advice contained in the ‘Dealing with Allegations of Abuse against Teachers and Other School Staff’ guidance document when setting out the pastoral support that school staff should expect to receive if they are accused of misusing their powers. Staff so accused should not be automatically suspended pending an investigation.
*Denotes terms with specific meanings outlined in the appropriate reference below.
- Behaviour and Discipline in Schools: Guidance for Governors September 2015. DfE
- Behaviour and Discipline in Schools: Advice for Headteachers and School Staff. February 2014. DfE
- The Equality Act 2010 and Schools: DfE Advice for School Leaders, School Staff, Governing Bodies and Local Authorities. May 2014.
- Use of Reasonable Force: Advice for Headteachers, Staff and Governing Bodies. July 2014. DfE
- Screening, Searching and Confiscation: Advice for Headteachers, Staff and Governing bodies. February 2014. DfE
- Dealing with Allegations of abuse against Teachers and other School Staff: Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities, Headteachers, School Staff, Governing Bodies and Proprietors of Independent Schools. 2012. DfE
- Keeping Children Safe in Education: Statutory Guidance for schools and Colleges. July 2015. DfE.