Positive attitude towards learning
Your child’s school will have a policy which is designed to help them build good learning behaviours. This includes all the actions which mean the child is ready and able to learn. It will include being organised and prepared to learn. It will also include having a positive mental attitude to their work and progress. It will include respecting the right of other pupils to learn safely and not be disrupted. The better the parent and school understand the child’s needs, the more likely the behaviour will be positive.
It's vital that on starting a new school an effective induction process takes place. This can make clear what your child’s needs are and may include finding out some of the challenges they've faced. Issues data sharing need to be carefully considered. It may include a clear understanding of what triggers difficulties for your child which could change their behaviour for learning. It's also important at this stage that you're aware of the behaviour policy. Some schools have decided to call this theirs relationships policy. This is because they understand that the quality of relationships is key to positive behaviour for learning.
Working with your child's school
Some children struggle with good behaviour for learning. It's important for parents to work as closely with school as possible. They need to communicate at an early stage of behaviour problems can help prevent it getting worse. It helps the child or young person to feel known and psychologically held when school and home are working together. An ideal situation is when parents feel they can support the school in implementing their policies such as sanctions. A strong relationship between home and school is vital. It means that parents can also ask questions about the rationale for school decisions and feel heard. Ideally this is a working partnership.
A school’s behaviour policy will usually show how pupils are rewarded for positive behaviour. It will also show what their graduated approach to sanctions looks like. A good example is the decision to exclude. This should be taken at the end of a range of other measures taken to improve behaviour. The DfE publish guidance which headteachers need to follow regarding exclusions. Fixed term exclusions can be given for a period ranging from half a day to five days. A permanent exclusion means that the child cannot return to that school. The current DfE guidance (Sept 2017) states that:
‘…permanent exclusion should only be used as a last resort. It should only be in response to a serious breach or persistent breaches of the school's behaviour policy. It applies where allowing the pupil to remain in school would cause serious harm. Be that to the education or welfare of the pupil or others.’
Parents have a right to appeal if they feel an exclusion isn't warranted. This must be heard by the governing body of the school.
DfE guidance states that, ‘disruptive behaviour can be an indication of unmet needs. Where a school has concerns about a pupil’s behaviour, it should try to identify whether there are any causal factors. They should then intervene early. This will reduce the need for a subsequent exclusion. In this situation, schools should consider whether a multi-agency assessment that goes beyond the pupil’s educational needs is required.’
Should disagreements occur or difficulties persist, parents have a right to ask for support. The designated teacher for previously looked after children can help. They can discuss how the pupil premium can be used to support positive behaviour for learning.