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“Good behaviour in a school is not an afterthought; it is perpetual labour. It is ‘item one’ on the school agenda and it can never be assumed” class. If a teacher is reporting and referring many problems, it might be because they are efficient administrators rather than weak on behaviour. I once heard a senior staff member describe a new teacher as ‘failing’ because of how often she communicated issues in the classroom. She was reprimanded for this, and a solution was found quickly: she stopped reporting trouble. Instead, she let it seethe, unreported, in the classroom. Not surprisingly, she left at the end of the year for a school that supported teachers rather than clobbering them for being professional. A further bone of contention for teachers is ‘invisible senior staff ’. Public spaces in a school are contested territories. Ungoverned by staff, they become governed by students. If you are fortunate, they will rule wisely and kindly. Good luck with that. School leaders should also bear in mind that from a

teachers’ perspective, the head’s position is characterised by power and efficacy, yet only a head can understand the curious powerlessness of command and the realisation that nothing happens without the staff ’s compliance. As a result, the starting point for most schools is that teachers must face up to the responsibility to run their rooms in good order, with rules, sanctions and rewards. If their efforts are no longer effective, then the head and other members of the senior leadership team must step in to reinforce their authority. School leaders also need to ensure that the classroom teacher knows what must be done in order to promote good behaviour. This may require training for the staff involved and it must be promoted to the children – ensuring that the message is consistent and repeated until the expectations are assumed and implicit in everything they do. Furthermore, the head has to revisit and reinforce this for as long as they have a job, because this never stops. Good behaviour in school is not an afterthought; it is a perpetual labour. It is ‘item one’ on the school agenda and it can never be assumed. It must be created continually or, sooner or later, it will cease to exist. Here are 10 things that head teachers can do to help their teams to manage behaviour... CONTINUED ON PAGE 38 ➧

MARCH/APRIL 2013 ● LEADERSHIP FOCUS

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Leadership Focus March/April 2013  

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Leadership Focus March/April 2013  

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