Behaviour & Discipline Policy
It is the duty of the Headteacher to set out measures in the behaviour policy which aim to:
- promote good behaviour, self-discipline and respect;
- prevent bullying;
- ensure that pupils complete assigned work; and which
- regulate the conduct of pupils
DVHS is a mainstream comprehensive school. The Governing Body believes that high standards of pupil behaviour and good discipline support the aims of the school, safeguard the rights of pupils and are an essential pre-requisite for effective teaching and learning.
It seeks to create an inclusive, caring learning environment in the school by:
- promoting desired behaviour and discipline;
- promoting self-esteem, self-discipline, proper regard for authority and positive relationships based on mutual respect;
- ensuring equality and fairness of treatment for all;
- encouraging consistency of response to both positive and negative behaviour;
- promoting early intervention;
- providing a safe environment free from disruption, violence, bullying and any forms of harassment;
- encouraging a positive relationship with parents and carers to develop a shared approach which involves them in the implementation of the school’s policy and associated procedures;
- promoting a culture of praise and encouragement in which all pupils can achieve.
The Governing Body will establish, in consultation with the Headteacher, staff and parents, a policy for the promotion of desired behaviour and keep it under review. It will ensure that this is communicated to pupils and parents, is non-discriminatory and the expectations are clear. Governors will support the school in maintaining high standards of desired behaviour of pupils and staff.
The Headteacher will be responsible for the implementation and day-to-day management of the policy and procedures.
Staff, including teachers, support staff and volunteers will be responsible for ensuring that the policy and procedures are followed consistently and are fairly applied. Mutual support amongst all staff in the implementation of the policy is essential. Staff have a key role in advising the Headteacher on the effectiveness of the policy and procedures. They also have responsibility, with the support of the Headteacher, for creating a high quality learning environment, teaching positive behaviour for learning and implementing the agreed policy and procedures consistently.
The Governing Body, Headteacher and Staff will ensure that there is no differential application of the policy and procedures on any grounds, particularly ethnic or national origin, culture, religions, gender, disability or sexuality. They will also ensure that the concerns of pupils are listened to and appropriately addressed.
Pupils are expected to take responsibility for their own behaviour and will be made fully aware of the school policy, procedure and expectations. Pupils will be encouraged to take responsibility for their social and learning environment making it both safe and enjoyable by reporting all undesirable behaviour.
Parents and carers will be expected, encouraged and supported to take responsibility for the behaviour of their child both inside and outside the school. This is particularly important where a pupil is struggling with taking personal responsibility for their own behaviour. The school will encourage parents to work in partnership with the school to assist it in maintaining high standards of desired behaviour by showing support for the behaviour and discipline policy. Parents will be actively encouraged to raise with the school any issues arising from the operation of the policy.
The expectations we have of pupils
- Show respect for other people and the school.
- Use appropriate language and behave in a sensible manner
- Act responsibly at all times.
- Follow instructions, first time, every time. Not doing this is defiance.
- Attend all lessons
- Arrive on time, fully prepared to learn.
- Never bully others.
- Wear full school uniform correctly
Behaviour Support Structure
- The most powerful factor influencing positive pupil involvement is constant reinforcement in the form of praise by staff. A nod, smile and ‘thank you’ are promoted as the fundamental tools of Darwen Vale staff in order to create a positive and considerate environment.
- To underpin this approach, we use the Vivo online credit system to reward pupils. Pupils are awarded ‘Vivo’ points for a wide variety of successes such as completing an excellent piece of homework or 100% attendance to helping the community or representing the school. These points have a monetary value and can be saved then used to purchase goods in the online shop.
- Each member of SLT receives a weekly list of pupils to meet, who will receive special recognition for their contribution to school life.
- Celebration assemblies are a regular event across all year groups. They reward and honour areas such as academic improvement, sporting successes, high attendance, service to the school and being an excellent ambassador for Darwen Vale.
- The combination of these approaches intends to promote a culture where everyone can succeed and develops a positive and nurturing experience for all our pupils.
Hierarchy of Sanctions
Low level Incidents – such as equipment issues, lack of work and minor behaviour issues.
- The most effective behaviour strategy is to be a positive, enthusiastic member of staff, promoting the pupils to be positive and enthusiastic also.
- It is essential for staff to work on positive relationships with all pupils.
- Sanctions available include verbal warnings, moving seat, phone call home, keeping the pupil in at break or dinner and DVHS detention after the school day. A pupil may be removed from the classroom for no longer than 5 minutes to de-escalate a situation. The classroom teacher remains responsible for the pupil whilst they are outside the classroom.
- If the sanction is not completed then it should be escalated to the next sanction.
Higher Level Incidents – such as repeated defiance, swearing at member of staff, threatening behaviour.
- If staff believe that an incident is at this level then they should report it to the Subject Leader (or Pastoral Leader if the incident was not in the classroom).
- The subject/pastoral leader should then refer the incident to the Assistant Headteacher (Pastoral) for a discussion regarding the next steps to be taken (see staff guidance (iii))
- The sanctions at this point can include suspension from lessons for the pupil; this could be seclusion, seclusion off site or fixed term exclusion. Work is provided for the pupil to complete.
- If the pupil is not impacting on the learning of others then the member of staff should inform the pupil that action will be taken later, then focus on teaching the lesson. The incident should be reported later.
- If the incident is negatively impacting on the learning of others then the member of staff should send for support from their subject team. If that is not available them the office should be informed that patrol staff are required. The primary focus of the patrol staff will be to de-escalate the incident and return the pupil to the classroom (see staff guidance (ii)).
One-off incidents of an extremely serious nature
- Contact Main Office to call for a member of the SLT
- It is essential to involve parents and encourage their support. Any sanction from an after school detention and higher must involve a phone call home. If attempts are made and parents/carers cannot be contacted, the sanction should still take place.
- If a pupil shows repeated behaviour concerns in a subject over a period of time, then the member of staff should involve the Subject Leader, a meeting with parents will be arranged to discuss the pupil and how to progress. The appropriate Head of Year should also be informed before the meeting in order to provide support if required.
- If a pupil shows repeated behaviour concerns across a number of subjects then the Pastoral Team should arrange a meeting with parents to discuss the pupil and how to progress. The pupil’s subject teachers should be informed before the meeting to provide support and information if required.
Pupils Receiving Multiple Seclusions and/or Exclusions
- At this point all other avenues will have been addressed by Subject Leaders and the Pastoral Team.
- A formal meeting with the Headteacher will take place, involving the pupil, the family and the Head of Year.
- If this is unsuccessful, then a Governors Welfare and Discipline meeting will take place.
- If this is unsuccessful then consideration will take place regarding either a managed move, alternative provision or permanent exclusion.
- The development of emotional intelligence is essential for our pupils if they are to succeed.
- Any incident requiring a seclusion or higher will be accompanied by an RJ meeting.
- The RJ will be coordinated by the Pastoral Team or a Subject Leader and will follow the procedures set out in the staff guidance (i)
- Seclusion for not attending detentions will not require an RJ as one will be arranged by the inclusion mentors whilst the pupil is in seclusion.
- In order to support staff during lessons and to promote a rapid response to incidents, allocated staff patrol the school every period.
- Every patrol team includes a member of SLT.
- The primary aim of the patrol is to facilitate a smooth transition between lessons and reduce the negative influence of misbehaving pupils. Staff refer to staff guidance (ii) for patrol protocol.
Analysis of Behaviour Issues
- The pastoral team receive a weekly report regarding behaviour issues across school for their year group. Subject Leaders receive a fortnightly report.
- From this data, trends and issues can be recognised and interventions set in place rapidly.
Use of Reasonable Force
What is reasonable force?
- The term ‘reasonable force’ covers the broad range of actions used by most teachers at some point in their career that involve a degree of physical contact with pupils.
- Force is usually used either to control or restrain. This can range from guiding a pupil to safety by the arm through to more extreme circumstances such as breaking up a fight or where a student needs to be restrained to prevent violence or injury.
- ‘Reasonable in the circumstances’ means using no more force than is needed in the circumstance. As mentioned above, schools generally use force to control students and to restrain them. Control means either passive physical contact, such as standing between students or blocking a pupil’s path, or active physical contact such as leading a pupil by the arm out of a classroom.
- Restraint means to hold back physically or to bring a pupil under control. It is typically used in more extreme circumstances, for example when two students are fighting and refuse to separate without physical intervention.
- School staff should always try to avoid acting in a way that might cause injury, but in extreme cases it may not always be possible to avoid injuring the pupil.
Who can use reasonable force?
- All members of school staff have a legal power to use reasonable force.
- This power applies to any member of staff at the school. It can also apply to people whom the Headteacher has temporarily put in charge of pupils such as unpaid volunteers or parents accompanying students on a school organised visit.
DFE guidance stipulates that Schools can use reasonable force to:
- Remove disruptive children from the classroom where they have refused to follow an instruction to do so;
- Prevent a pupil behaving in a way that disrupts a school event or a school trip or visit;
- Prevent a pupil leaving the classroom where allowing the pupil to leave would risk their safety or lead to behaviour that disrupts the behaviour of others;
- Prevent a pupil from attacking a member of staff or another pupil, or to stop a fight in the playground; and
- Restrain a pupil at risk of harming themselves through physical outbursts.
When can reasonable force be used at DVHS?
- Reasonable force can be used to prevent students from hurting themselves or others, from damaging property, or from causing disorder.
- Force is used for two main purposes – to control students or to restrain them. The decision as to whether or not a member of staff physically intervenes is down to the professional judgement of the staff member concerned and should always depend on the individual circumstances.
Power to Search
- School staff can search a pupil for any item that may contravene the school’s Behaviour Policy
- The Headteacher and staff authorised by the Head have a statutory power to search pupils or their possessions, without consent, where they reasonably suspect the pupil has prohibited items. The items that can be searched for under this power are knives or weapons, alcohol, illegal drugs and stolen items.
- School staff can seize any banned or prohibited item found as a result of a search or which they consider harmful or detrimental to school discipline.
Discipline Outside the School Gates
Teachers have a statutory power to discipline students for misbehaving outside of the school premises. Section 89(5) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 gives Headteachers a specific statutory power to regulate students’ behaviour in these circumstances ‘to such extent as is reasonable’.
In line with DFE Guidance and the DVHS Behaviour Policy, the school may discipline a student for any misbehaviour when the child is:
1) taking part in any school-organised or school-related activity or
2) travelling to or from school or
3) wearing school uniform or
4) in some other way identifiable as a pupil at the school
or misbehaviour at any time, whether or not the conditions above apply, that:
5) could have repercussions for the orderly running of the school or
6) poses a threat to another pupil or member of the public or
7) could adversely affect the reputation of the school
The Behaviour Policy in relation to the Equality Act 2010 in respect of students with SEND
DVHS acknowledges its legal duties under the Equality Act 2010 and in respect of students with SEND. All incidents are investigated, and reasonable adjustments made for students on the SEND register.
Allegations of Abuse against Staff
Allegations of abuse are to be taken seriously, but we will ensure that we deal with allegations quickly in a fair and consistent way that provides effective protection for the child and supports the person who is the subject of the allegation. Every effort will be made to maintain confidentiality and guard against unwanted publicity while an allegation is being investigated. Malicious accusations against school staff are fully investigated and will be dealt with in a fair and consistent manner.
The investigation will be led by the Headteacher and appropriate action will be taken if the allegations are found to be malicious and unfounded.
Monitoring, evaluation and Review of policy
The school will review this policy and assess its implementation and effectiveness. The policy will be promoted and implemented throughout the school. The success of the policy will be evaluated through:
- analysis of baseline statistics
- surveys of pupils, staff and parents/carers
- school self-evaluation structures and procedures
- regular monitoring of exclusion data at Governors’ Meetings (Welfare and Discipline sub-committee.)
- inspection by any external agencies e.g. OFSTED