Developing a policy provides useful opportunities for discussion between teaching staff, pupils, parents and the wider community. It is vitally important that the development of a policy reflects as consensual a view as possible so that the policy is "owned" by all parties affected by it.
The purpose of the document is to provide our Saturday school with an aide-memoire or template against which to review our existing behaviour policies and to guide our future development.
Each section of the document consists of a brief rationale and then a series of review questions to be asked of the existing or developing behaviour policy.
Why have behaviour policies?
There are five good reasons for using this framework to develop behaviour policies:
• To benefit pupils
• To provide guidance to staff
• To promote school improvement
• To maintain some consistency within the XYZ Spiritist Society
• To comply with national legislation
Benefits to pupils
Children and young people develop into responsible learners through living in an atmosphere, sometimes called school ethos, in which the rights and dignity of each individual is recognised and actively promoted. School policies define the entitlement of all pupils to be able to access the programme and their inclusion with the Saturday school. For these reasons, behaviour policies need to relate to other policies dealing with issues of equal opportunity and inclusion such as, special educational needs, race and ethnicity, gender, class and with issues of bullying.
Guidance to staff
Given clear guidance, staff in the Saturday school can work together to create a positive school ethos in which behaviour is managed effectively.
XYZ Spiritist Society is committed to improvement on all levels and to the development of all pupils. Their social, emotional and moral development is as important as their academic learning and achievements. Such learning depends upon good behaviour and emotional maturity. Effective academic, social, emotional and moral learning itself contributes to feelings of worth and self-esteem.
The Education Act 1997 places on all schools the duty to state and pursue policies designed to promote good behaviour and discipline. Ofsted is required to examine and report on behaviour policies and their implementation, and to report on exclusion rates.
What should be in a behaviour policy?
It is helpful to have three levels to a behaviour policy:
Level 1 Philosophy of the school
This consists of a brief overarching statement of the beliefs or values of the school community. It expresses beliefs rather than intended actions and should be consistent with other documents produced by the governing body.
Level 2 Principles
This is a statement of the general principles or guidelines, derived from the philosophy of the school. It indicates the practical implications of the underlying beliefs and philosophy. Such high level rules apply throughout the school community in all situations.
Level 3 Procedures
This is a description of the operational routines covering discrete, well recognised and frequently occurring situations, or critical incidents (e.g. procedures for involving parents). This section also includes a description of roles and responsibilities of staff directly involved in the management of behaviour. Procedures for monitoring and evaluating the policy should be included.
It is important that the behaviour policy is consistent with other policies including those required by the DfEE (Department for Education and Employment):
• Special educational needs
• Substance abuse
• Child protection