1. The full version of this policy here.
2. The text only version of this policy can be found below -
Author / Owner
Head of Safeguarding & Vulnerable Learners – Hereafter referred to as the DSL
In the community of Winchelsea everyone is important. Winchelsea is a place where everyone feels welcome, has a voice, is safe, able to achieve and have fun.
Winchelsea promotes a framework that uses a variety of approaches to address challenging behaviour. This framework emphasises the importance of adults having the skills and confidence to maintain control of any situation through calm, positive actions, communication at all times and offering clear options.
At Winchelsea we promote the use of positive and effective intervention strategies with children.
It is important to ensure that all adults working with children are clear about their role, in order that their own rights, and those of the children in their care are protected.
Winchelsea as an employer, acknowledges its responsibility for the health and safety of staff at work. Staff at all levels need to be confident in their ability to meet their responsibilities in managing challenging behaviour. They also need to be safe.
This policy is based on advice from the Department for Education (DfE) on:
It is also based on the special educational needs and disability (SEND) code of practice.
In addition, this policy is based on:
Maintained schools, pupil referral units and non-maintained special schools:
Section 175 of the Education Act 2002, which outlines a school’s duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of its pupils
Sections 88-94 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006, which require schools to regulate pupils’ behaviour and publish a behaviour policy and written statement of behaviour principles, and give schools the authority to confiscate pupils’ property
DfE guidance explaining that maintained schools must publish their behaviour policy online.
Behaviour Principles Written Statement
This section is not policy or practice, rather it is a statement to set out the broad principles and values with regard to behaviour that is both expected and promoted within the school.
Actual, practical applications of these principles are the responsibility of the Headteacher, who will view each case in light of these principles and any relevant policies. The Governing Body is aware and approves of this statement, believing it accurately reflects the school’s ethos and that effective learning and development relies on good standards of behaviour.
- The school’s primary concern is the safety, wellbeing and education of all pupils, with the intention of upholding their wellbeing and academic progress, as well as fulfilling our safeguarding responsibilities;
- All members of the school community must be treated inclusively and be free from any form of discrimination or prejudice – whether it be racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, religious or age-based;
- The school will create and maintain an atmosphere and ethos of tolerance, equality, diversity, respect, understanding, kindness and a sense of citizenship throughout the school community in everyday practice;
- All children, staff and visitors should feel safe in the school environment at all times through a high quality of care, support and guidance;
- All pupils have a right to fulfil their greatest academic and personal potential and feel they are valued members of the school by both their peers and school staff, and should be free from bullying, discrimination and distracting peer behaviour;
- Positive behaviour around school is to be acknowledged;
- At Winchelsea, we want to foster a community and collective ethos amongst all members of the school and promote values of caring, empathy, teamwork and coordination;
- In cases of continuous and persistent challenging behaviour, regardless of how sustained and disruptive, the pupil’s out-of-school circumstances and special educational needs and disabilities will always be taken into account. Comprehensive support is given – exclusions are to be used only as a last resort where other measures fail;
- Any kind of violence, threatening behaviour or abuse between pupils, or by pupils/parents/carers towards the school’s staff, will not be tolerated. If a parent/carer does not conduct himself/herself properly, the school reserves the right to ban them from the school premises and, if the parent/carer continues to cause disturbance, he or she may be liable to prosecution.
- The Behaviour Policy will promote the proactive use of effective intervention and strategies to self-regulate;
- Follow Government and best practice guidance to provide a safe and caring environment for all;
- Provide clarification to staff in relation to their role in managing behaviour in order that their rights, and those of the child are protected;
- It will emphasise that the use of force will always act as a last resort and must be reasonable and proportionate to the risk;
- Explain school systems relating to social norms and expectations;
- Provide information and measures to prevent child-on-child abuse – including measures to prevent child-on-child abuse and the response to incidents of such abuse;
- Detail banned items by the school and for which a search can be made.
Serious misbehaviour is defined as:
- Any form of bullying;
- Sexual violence, such as rape, assault by penetration, or sexual assault (intentional sexual touching without consent);
- Sexual harassment, meaning unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, such as:
- Sexual comments;
- Sexual jokes or taunting;
- Physical behaviour like interfering with clothes;
- Online sexual harassment such as unwanted sexual comments and messages (including on social media), sharing of nude or semi-nude images and/or videos, or sharing of unwanted explicit content;
- Racist, sexist, homophobic or discriminatory behaviour;
- Possession of any prohibited items. These are:
- Knives or weapons;
- Illegal drugs;
- Stolen items;
- Tobacco and cigarette papers;
- Pornographic images;
- Any article a staff member reasonably suspects has been, or is likely to be, used to commit an offence, or to cause personal injury to, or damage to the property of, any person (including the pupil).
Any child that engages in serious misbehaviour is at risk of exclusion. Please refer to the Exclusion Policy for more information. Bullying
Bullying is defined as the repetitive, intentional harming of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power.
Bullying is, therefore:
- Deliberately hurtful;
- Repeated, often over a period of time;
- Difficult to defend against.
Bullying can include:
TYPE OF BULLYING
Being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting
Hitting, kicking, pushing, taking another’s belongings, any use of violence
Prejudice-based and discriminatory, including:
· Gendered (sexist)
Taunts, gestures, graffiti or physical abuse focused on a particular characteristic (e.g. gender, race, sexuality)
Explicit sexual remarks, display of sexual material, sexual gestures, unwanted physical attention, comments about sexual reputation or performance, or inappropriate touching
Direct or indirect verbal
Name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing
Bullying that takes place online, such as through social networking sites, messaging apps or gaming sites
Any incidents of bullying, discrimination, aggression, and derogatory language (including name calling) will be dealt with quickly and effectively.
Please refer to the Anti-Bullying Policy for more information.
We believe that pupils want to behave well and are happy when their needs are understood and met. How pupils behave gives us important information about how they are feeling. Pupils at Winchelsea have a wide range of needs with a range of communication needs. Supporting pupils to effectively communicate is an important way to promote them to self-regulate and behave in an expected way.
Pupils can learn to improve their behaviour. Pupils at Winchelsea School find learning difficult and learning new behaviour is a task, just like learning to read or write.
At Winchelsea we are committed to the positive prevention of challenging behaviour and we aim to work as a school wide team to support the child and their parents. We do this in several ways and within class there is a focus on positive praise and reward. All behaviour practise is positive with sanctions supplementing only where absolutely necessary. There is a consistent response to behaviour at Winchelsea and all staff have access to the same scripts, prompts and strategies for each child. We specifically praise Helpful Choices for Learning and positive behaviours as we see them throughout the day and we encourage every child to work towards positive goals. These may be specific to individual children and individual reward charts are used where children benefit from a more structured approach. Our school ethos is that children should see that appropriate behaviour gains more reward, attention and praise than inappropriate behaviour.
Active Support for Pupils in Self-Management Strategies
Winchelsea’s aim is to enable every child to manage their own behaviour and take a sense of achievement from this. This sense of achievement is fostered by the external validation of their behaviours by school staff, parents and carers. We are a flexible environment and encourage children to access a variety of sensory aids to assist in their access to learning.
We have introduced the ‘The Zones’ and ‘Toolkits’ that help children identify how they are feeling and then a range of strategies in their ‘Toolkit’ that help them feel calm, happy and ready to learn.
Behaviour as a Continuum of Communication
We recognise that behaviour is a communication but due to the complexity of the children at Winchelsea it may not always be clear why or what they are communicating. Behaviour is recorded using IRIS so that we can track and investigate patterns. It is felt that if we understand the behaviour we have a better chance of preventing it and teaching an appropriate strategy or alternative to child.
Helpful Choices for Learning
At Winchelsea we have identified 12 ‘Helpful Choices for Learning’ that can be used in the classroom and wider school community to develop positive social skills, self-regulation and support children to engage in learning opportunities. At Winchelsea we use the script of making Helping Choices for Learning so that the children begin to understand that actions / behaviours will help them and that these are what staff are looking to see.
Refer Appendix B for a copy of the Helpful Choices for Learning.
Winchelsea School Values
Our values encourage every child to be active members of the school and wider community. Our values promote fundamental British Values and the General Principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). This policy has been written with the principles of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child in mind. Particular reference and consideration has been made to Articles 2, 3, 5, 13, 16, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37 and 42 throughout.
- I can ask for what I want;
- I can follow rules;
- I can choose independently;
- I can respect other people;
- I can be friends with different people.
Roles and Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of all children to try to make Helpful Choices for Learning. These choices include removing themselves from difficult situations, applying strategies to manage their behaviour by utilising the tools and equipment provided to self-manage. Children are expected to complete any tasks reasonably assigned to them in connection with their education.
The school works together with Parents/Carers so that children receive consistent messages about how to behave at home and school. We expect Parents/Carers to support their child’s learning, and to co-operate with the school to support the child to make Helpful Choices for Learning.
Contact with Parents/Carers is made in a number of ways: e-mails, phone, letters and face to face discussions. Parents/Carers may be involved in individual reward systems in school and are kept informed of their child’s achievements and successes. Staff and parents / carers work together to support each other and meet to discuss problems as they arise in an environment of openness and honesty. It is important to celebrate the positive as well as discussing matters of concern. We aim to end any meeting on a positive note by noting what we can do to move forward.
Staff have an important role in developing a calm and safe environment for children and establishing clear boundaries of acceptable behaviour. Staff should uphold the whole-school approach to behaviour by teaching and modelling expected behaviour and positive relationships.
Staff should also challenge pupils to meet the school expectations and maintain the boundaries of acceptable conduct.
All staff should communicate the school expectations, routines, values and standards both explicitly through teaching behaviour and in every interaction with pupils. Staff should consider the impact of their own behaviour on the school culture and how they can uphold the school expectations.
The class teacher is responsible for the day to day behaviour management of pupils and ensuring that behaviour recording documentation is completed appropriately. They are responsible for implementing the Pupil Participation Plan (PPP) and co-coordinating reviews of that PPP. They are also responsible for supporting their team in managing behaviour, explaining PPPs to them, ensuring they keep accurate records of behaviour incidents and that the classroom environment remains safe. Teachers will link closely with the DSL (for guidance and support to ensure the recording and management of behaviour is done positively. Teachers are also the primary point of class liaison with Parents/Carers regarding behaviour management. Teachers are encouraged to use and be guided by the new Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Core Content Framework.
Initial teacher training (ITT): core content framework - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The Class Teaching Assistant Team / Mid Day Supervisory Assistants
The class team are responsible for making themselves aware of PPPs relating to the children they are working with and supporting children to manage their behaviour and intervening if behaviour is inappropriate. They are also responsible for the recording of behaviour as well as any other relevant documentation, and following through with restorative work.
Senior Leadership Team
It is the role of Senior Leaders to support class teachers and support staff if there is a serious incident. This may involve taking a class while the class teacher manages a situation, supporting directly with a child or providing support to allow staff reflection time after an incident.
Intervention and Therapy Team
This team are responsible for all specialist intervention throughout the school community, providing direct specialist intervention to children, implementing strategies, training staff and coordinating outside agency involvement, as well as providing an interface with families.
Head of Safeguarding & Vulnerable Learners (DSL)
The DSL is a full time member of staff responsible for the development and implementation of behaviour systems and strategies. They will support class teams, collaborating with them to develop person centered PPPs which provide clear guidance on the best working practice for the individual. The DSL and Pupil Participation Team will then monitor the impact of these plans by monitoring and processing incident reports to further develop working methods. The DSL is also an Advanced Team Teach Instructor and in this role provides formal Team Teach training.
Team Teach promotes and teaches de-escalation strategies and the reduction of risk and restraint, to support teaching, learning and caring, by increasing staff confidence and competence, in responding to behaviours that challenge, whilst promoting and protecting positive relationships.
For further information about Team Teach please speak to the DSL, alternatively go to www.teamteach.co.uk.
The Headteacher is responsible for reviewing this Behaviour Policy in conjunction with the Governing Body, giving due consideration to the school’s Statement of Behaviour Principles (Appendix A). The Headteacher will also review this policy.
The Headteacher also has the responsibility for giving fixed term or permanent exclusions to individual children if there is a serious incident and it is deemed the appropriate course of action.
The Headteacher will also ensure that the school environment encourages positive behaviour and that staff deal effectively with poor behaviour, and will monitor how staff implement this policy to ensure rewards and sanctions are applied consistently.
The Governing Body is responsible for reviewing and formally approving the written Statement of Behaviour Principles (Appendix A).
The Governing Body will also review this Behaviour Policy in conjunction with the Headteacher and monitor the policy’s effectiveness, holding the Headteacher to account for its implementation.
What is Challenging Behaviour?
Behaviour that challenges is a form of communication. It may be the only way in which the child can inform us that their needs are not being met. It is therefore important to view any change in the frequency, duration or intensity of challenges as an indication that something is wrong. For example a child who does not use speech to communicate may be indicating that they are in pain or that they are unhappy with the environment.
Challenging behaviour “Refers to behaviour of such an intensity, frequency or duration that the physical safety of the person or others is likely to be placed in serious jeopardy or behaviour which is likely to seriously limit or delay access to or use of ordinary community facilities”: Emerson, E (1995), cited in Emerson, E (2001, 2nd edition).
General Principles of Challenging Behaviour
Behaviour that challenges is functional, that is, it serves a purpose for the child.
The function may be one or more of the following:
- To interact;
- To seek adult or peer attention, this could also include wanting time alone.
- To express;
- request something, for example, food, drink, an activity or an object.
- To self-manage;
- To control the environment, which includes escapism (absconding) and food refusal.
- To self-regulate;
- Includes self-stimulatory behaviour to relieve stress or meet a sensory need.
When reviewing challenging behaviour staff will consider whether the behaviour causes concern that the child may be suffering in some way. If there is concern then staff will follow the Safeguarding Policy. There will also be consideration that the behaviour is signalling an unmet need. At this point it may be necessary to involve other agencies to support us in supporting the child.
Preventing Challenging Behaviour
Pupil Participation Plans (PPP) (Appendix C) will reflect the strengths and needs of the child. Information will be accurate and up to date. The PPP will provide strategies and guidance that enable staff to proactively support the child as well as a reactive measures should they challenge. The PPP will include details of the triggers that can cause challenging behaviour. This will enable staff to effectively manage situations that the child finds uncomfortable.
Action that should be taken to reduce the likelihood that challenging behaviour will occur.
Primary Prevention involves using our knowledge of the conditions that can give rise to challenges. If the conditions have been identified for a particular child, they can be manipulated to minimise the risk of challenges occurring. It is particularly important to avoid exposing a child to known triggers or conditions at times of increased stress. Where possible planned exposure of known triggers will be introduced to support the child to be as tolerant to these triggers as possible.
Action that should be taken during the early stages of arousal, that is, at the first sign that something is going wrong.
It is important that staff are aware of the behaviour which may indicate that the person they are supporting is becoming agitated. Signs of agitation may include, for example, pacing, raised voice, change in facial expression or skin colour. However these signs are different for everyone and so it is vital that staff working with children know their individual signs.
Sensory Processing Needs
Sensory processing difficulties can impact on our pupil’s ability to self-regulate and manage their behaviour. Sensory processing is the ability to register, discrimate, adapt and respond appropriately, both physically and emotionally to sensory input from the environment. Class teams should ensure that they:
- Organise the environment clearly with visual cues and signposting using an appropriate communication resource;
- Speak clearly, slowly, calmly and give pupils time to process and respond;
- Recognising that sensory processing issues should inform suitable learning environment adjustments;
- Ensure pupil’s sensory needs are supported through embedding sensory diets and movement into their daily class routines;
- Ensure there is access to sensory equipment that support self-regulation;
- Teach pupils to recognize that they are becoming dysregulated by labelling emotions and teach / redirect to an appropriate self-regulatory strategy (The Zones and Toolkits).
Understanding Self-Injurious Behaviour
Self-injurious behaviour is when a pupil harms themselves, it’s sometimes called self-harm. This might be head banging on floors, walls or other surfaces, hand or arm biting, hair pulling, face or head slapping, skin picking, scratching or pinching. The pupil may not have another way of telling adults their needs, wants or feelings. These behaviours may be a way of communicating frustration, getting an object or activity they want, managing anxiety, communicating discomfort or pain. When these behaviours are present the teacher will work with stakeholders to better understand these behaviours and find a way to prevent and replace these behaviours.
Adults supporting these behaviours will:
- Respond quickly and consistently when a pupil self-injures, even if the adult believes the pupil is doing this to get attention. It is never appropriate to ignore severe self-injurious behaviour;
- Keep responses low key: Limit verbal comments, facial expressions and other displays of emotion;
- Reduce demands;
- Remove potential physical and sensory discomforts, consider their sensory processing difficulties and diets;
- Redirect by telling them what they should do instead, e.g. ‘David, hands down’. Use visuals cues to support;
- Provide light physical guidance, this may include gently guiding their hand away from their head, using as little force as possible;
- Use barriers, place a barrier between the pupil and the object that is causing harm. Consider the use of pillows and other sensory tools that could be used to achieve the desired feedback such as using a chew toy.
When we tell people what exactly we like about what they are doing, we are reinforcing behaviours that we want to promote.
‘I like how you used your Toolkit to help you calm’ ‘I like that you asked for a break when you needed it’.
By giving positive feedback and personal recognition we raise self-esteem which can lead to positive behaviour for learning. All staff should be consistent and use clear language when acknowledging positive behaviour.
Responding to Challenging Behaviour
Winchelsea Rules for responding to Challenging Behaviour:
- Try to reassure the child– this will not always be verbal;
- Keep any verbal communication brief and to the point; only one member of staff should be talking to the child to avoid overloading and confusing them;
- Ensure that other staff are aware of the situation, they can make the environment safer by supporting other people to leave the area;
- Maintain a safe distance from the child;
- Try to appear calm; the child needs to know that you are in control;
- Avoid confrontation, threats or emotionally difficult demands for example “clean that mess up” or “apologise";
- Seek assistance by using the radio, ‘supported required to (location)’;
- Staff must have in place emergency procedures for staff to access when a situation may be getting out of control, i.e. access to a radio or mobile telephone (if accessing the community).
As a school community we prescribe to the Team Teach behaviour management approach and use a CALM approach:
Communicate, use visuals, minimal speech and keep voices low in tone and pace.
Assess, be aware of triggers, environmental hazards, life events, feelings and adjust expectations.
Listen to what the child is saying and not saying. Support them to make choices that help them.
Make it safe. Get support and change the face.
Where a child deliberately uses the possible infection of Covid-19 as a threat or actual event, for example deliberately coughing and/or spitting over someone, this will be treated as a serious breach of the Behaviour Policy. The school risk assessment and health and safety guidelines should be followed at all times. In addition to the triggering of instant hygiene and isolation procedures, full sanctions may apply, up to and including fixed term exclusion.
Where Parents/Carers or other responsible adults do not adhere to government guidance – particularly around social distancing and congregating on or near to Winchelsea the leadership team will communicate expectations using Schoolzine and the school website.
Repeated failure to adhere to the health and safety guidelines, specifically those around containing the virus may necessitate measures to remove (temporarily) or ban (permanently) individuals from the Winchelsea site. In these extreme cases the Headteacher will consult with the Local Authority to trigger the order.
Use of Time Out
Time-out lies within the continuum of interventions used to assist children to regulate and or control their behaviour. It is used as a proactive strategy to support self-calming and to provide an opportunity for children to reflect on their actions.
Time-out strategies are not to be used as punishment or as a means of removing children indefinitely from the classroom. Time-out may be teacher directed (imposed) or child selected (autonomous withdrawal), as a means of calming during a stressful situation within a safe and predictable environment.
Whilst in Time-out staff will always monitor children to ensure they are kept safe. Any use of imposed withdrawal will be reasonable and proportionate.
Delivery of Behaviour Management
As far as practically possible all staff coming into contact with children will be versed in the specific PPP. Clear plans that are communicated throughout the school community will ensure that all staff are aware of the most effective de-escalation techniques, along with the particular triggers that may provoke a reaction.
Any PPP involving physical restraint will be discussed with parents and carers before implementation, however the school is not required to seek parental consent to restrict a child. Time-out, along with physical intervention will never be used as a means of sanction or punishment.
Rewards and Sanctions
As a positive learning environment, our primary focus at Winchelsea is reward, and reinforcing Helpful Choices for Learning. As a school we aim to provide a consistently positive learning environment for all and do this by having whole school reward systems and being flexible to provide individual reward systems if needed.
Aims of Reward Systems
- To encourage every child to work to their best in all areas of learning;
- To reward resilience, effort and problem solving;
- To raise achievement in the school by valuing outstanding effort and progress;
- To reward positive communication;
- To reward children that develop positive friendships and are kind to all;
- To provide children with valued documents as evidence of achievements.
Whole School Rewards
At Winchelsea we recognise that children need consistency between one day and the next and that achievements need to be recognised beyond the classroom. We also aim to teach the value of working in a team and promote a feeling of unity and community amongst the children. The 12 Helpful Choices for Learning provide a framework of language that is used to support children to manage their feelings and be rewarded for their achievements. For this reason, we have the following whole school positive rewards:
- Celebration Assembly which includes the ‘Class Charter Champion’;
- Ethos sticker system which allows the children to then ‘spend’ their rewards, giving tangible outcomes for positive behaviour and achievements;
- Completed work along with photos of the children achieving displayed around the school to promote positive self-esteem and to celebrate success;
- Frequent use of encouraging language and gesture;
- Phone calls to Parents/Carers;
- Headteacher awards;
- Additional responsibilities.
Sanctions are sometimes necessary to help children understand that there is a consequence to their actions. Sanctions must be fair and support children to understand the consequences of their behaviour on others and also teach them a different way to manage the feelings when they have behaved inappropriately. We support the use of sanctions if they contribute to child’s social understanding, rather than being just a ‘punishment’.
It is for this reason that sanctions must be applied with fair warning, as close to the event as possible and with opportunity for success in the rest of the day. We also feel that once a sanction has been completed the discussion surrounding the behaviour is ‘finished’ and should not go home with the child unless otherwise agreed with the Parent/Carer or there has been a serious incident.
Sanctions will be most effective when:
- Other encouraging and rewarding strategies have not worked;
- Sanctions imposed are relevant, fair and do not last longer than absolutely necessary or applied open-endedly;
- That there is a view that the sanction may encourage acceptable behaviour or act as a disincentive to unacceptable behaviour;
- The child understands the relevance of the sanction.
Examples of possible sanctions are as follows (this list is neither hierarchical nor exclusive) however they are to be used as a last resort within a positive environment:
- Loss of privileges;
- A verbal reprimand;
- Missing break times;
- Catch up sessions, including during lunchtime, afterschool, non-contact days and weekends;
- School based community service (e.g litter picking);
- Parent/Carer and Senior Leadership Team informed;
- Internal exclusion, external exclusion;
- Report Card / Mentoring system.
Rewards that have already been earned should not be removed or taken away as a sanction unless agreed in the PPP. Corporal punishment or the withdrawal of a child’s rights will never form part of a proactive / reactive strategy or sanction.
There is an expectation that all children will behave in a manner that does not jeopardise the safety and/or learning opportunities of others. If either are compromised it may be necessary to remove the child from the school community for a limited period of time. This is known as an exclusion. Exclusion, either fixed term or permanent is always used as a last resort. The decision to exclude remains the responsibility of the Headteacher. Winchelsea School works within the legal framework concerning exclusion as set out in the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. We will always aim to reintegrate a child back into the whole school community at the earliest opportunity. Please refer to the Exclusion Policy for more information.
Where circumstances arise that endanger the safety of a pupil or staff member, the school will act swiftly and decisively to remove the threat and reduce the likelihood of its reoccurrence.
Behaviour on School Trips
Prior to any trip taking place a full risk assessment is completed. The safety of children, staff and the public is of paramount importance. In some cases, the risk may be considered too high to allow the child to take part in the trip. If difficulties and challenging behaviour occur whilst on a school trip, then staff will employ all the training and expertise they have in order to resolve and calm the situation. Staff will also maintain regular contact with the school and Senior Leadership Team for guidance. It may be deemed necessary to return a child to the school vehicle until the trip is due to complete or return the child to school.
Zero-tolerance Approach to Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence
The school will ensure that all incidents of sexual harassment and/or violence are met with a suitable response, and never ignored.
Children are encouraged to report anything that makes them uncomfortable, no matter how ‘small’ they feel it might be.
The school’s response will be:
- Decided on a case-by-case basis.
The school has procedures in place to respond to any allegations or concerns regarding a child’s safety or wellbeing. These include clear processes for:
- Responding to a report
- Carrying out risk assessments, where appropriate, to help determine whether to:
- Manage the incident internally;
- Refer to Early Help;
- Refer to Children’s Social Care
- Report to the Police.
Please refer to our Safeguarding Policy for more information.
Children must not attempt to contact school staff via social media platforms. If a child attempts to make contact, then the child’s Parent/Carer will be contacted.
Where a pupil makes an allegation against a member of staff and that allegation is shown to have been deliberately invented or malicious, the school will discipline the pupil in accordance with this policy.
Where a pupil makes an allegation of sexual violence or sexual harassment against another pupil and that allegation is shown to have been deliberately invented or malicious, the school will discipline the pupil in accordance with this policy.
In all cases where an allegation is determined to be unsubstantiated, unfounded, false or malicious, the school (in collaboration with the Local Authority Designated Officer, where relevant) will consider whether the pupil who made the allegation is in need of help, or the allegation may have been a cry for help. If so, a referral to children’s social care may be appropriate.
The school will also consider the pastoral needs of staff and pupils accused of misconduct.
Please refer to our Safeguarding Policy for more information on responding to allegations of abuse against staff or other pupils.
It may also be appropriate for the Police to be contacted and asked to consider whether any action might be appropriate against the person responsible. This is equally the case if a malicious allegation is received from a parent or carer.
Recording of Behaviour Management
Thorough recording of behaviours is the key to identify what the purpose of the behaviour is and thus giving validity to any Pupil Participation Plans adopted. Effective recording of behaviour also supports the following:
- Compliance with statutory requirements;
- Monitoring of the child’s welfare;
- Monitoring of staff performance and identifying any training needs.
Review of the PPP and action taken as a matter of urgency in the following circumstances:
- When physical intervention is being employed more frequently than expected / previously;
- When staff report that agreed working methods do not enable them to effectively minimise harm;
- If injury is sustained to either the child or staff during physical intervention / incident;
- On any indication that interventions are not being carried out as determined by their PPP.
Effective risk assessment and risk management are important when supporting children who may challenge. The school community has a responsibility to maintain a safe working environment, protect children from harm and minimise risks. It is important to distinguish the assessment of and management of risk. Risk assessment involves identifying potentially hazardous behaviour, the possible consequences of that behaviour and the likelihood that the behaviour will occur. Risk management involves devising proactive and reactive strategies to minimise the possibility of the hazardous behaviour occurring. Good risk assessment and management is focused on maximising opportunities and will be detailed in the PPP.
Generic Risk Assessment
As part of the generic risk assessment and management process the school staff will:
- Wear shoes that are suitable for moving quickly and safely;
- Tie long hair back or carry a hair tie at all times;
- Avoid wearing jewellery or ties that cannot be undone easily or that could cause injury to others;
- Always ask for ‘Help’ and accept ‘More Help’ as detailed as part of Team Teach training;
- Support others if when and where required;
- Always access the change of face and a time out to reflect, following an incident;
- Keep arms and legs covered to limit possible harm from scratching, biting and pinching where required;
- Wear any safety clothing that is suggested as part of a child’s PPP. If the protective clothing is not suitable in any way then staff must inform their line manager or the DSL at the earliest opportunity.
Following an incident, in particular one involving a physical intervention both staff and the child should be given opportunity to talk about what happened in a calm and supportive environment. Restorative discussions are designed to discover what happened and the effects on those around them. Restorative discussion should not be used to direct blame or punish but as opportunity to determine if there is reason to suspect injury or severe distress.
Restorative sessions need to be person centered around:
- The needs of the individual;
- Their feelings;
- Their circumstances;
Restorative discussions are an attempt to recognise that a stressful incident has occurred and those involved need support to aid recovery. Below are our Winchelsea rules to restorative discussions:
There can be no rule about choosing the right time. Positive listening and restorative discussion can only begin when the child is ready. It cannot be forced. Please ensure that there is sufficient time so that the process will not be rushed.
The choice of environment should be comfortable and a neutral area where people will not be disturbed. Remove barriers such as desks and ensure chairs are at the same height.
Part of being an active listener involves looking at body language and establishing a rapport – ‘Listen with your eyes’. Listening should be non-judgmental to obtain the fullest appreciation of the child’s account of what has happened. Understanding what the child’s perspective is the key to helping him/her learn from the incident.
Learning can take place without blame. After listening carefully staff can share other perspectives with a focus on how feelings drive behaviours in all of us. This stage should involve an exploration of how the child and staff can work together to reduce the chance of repetition.
Restorative discussions should always be pitched at the right level for the child. This could include use a variety of resources which support the child to understand what has happened. Staff should avoid using ‘why’ questions and use the school’s approach to colourful semantics to gain an understanding of who was there etc.
Any questions regarding any aspect of Behaviour Management including Physical Intervention should be directed to the Behaviour Lead who will liaise with other professionals as deemed necessary.
The school also has a separate Physical Intervention policy.
Feedback from the School Council
Members of the School Council have been consulted on this policy. Language from the policy was explained and modified where necessary to ensure understanding.
Main feedback points are detailed below:
- They agreed with the Behaviour Principles;
- They agreed that there should be active support for children to self-regulate and thought the Zones and Toolkits were helpful as some people ‘can’t talk’;
- They agreed with the Pupil Responsibilities as set out in the policy;
- They agreed that those with Sensory Processing Needs should be actively supported and have access to resources such as ear defenders and help when displaying any self-injurious behaviour;
- They agreed that positive behaviour should be rewarded and that unexpected behaviour should be sanctioned, this included exclusion;
- They agreed that behaviour on school trips should be excellent and that whilst out in the community as they represent the school;
- They agree that there should be a zero tolerance approach to any sexual harassment or behaviour;
- They agreed that after an incident there should be time to talk about what has happened and rebuild relationships.
Written Statement of Behaviour Principles
Every child has the right to feel safe, valued and respected, and learn free from the disruption of others.
All children, staff and visitors are free from any form of discrimination.
Staff and volunteers set an excellent example to pupils at all times.
Rewards, sanctions and reasonable force are used consistently by staff, in line with the Behaviour policy.
The Behaviour Policy is understood by pupils and staff.
The exclusions policy explains that exclusions will only be used as a last resort, and outlines the processes involved in permanent and fixed-term exclusions.
Pupils are helped to take responsibility for their actions.
Families are involved in behaviour incidents to foster good relationships between the school and pupils’ home life.
The Governing Body also emphasises that violence or threatening behaviour will not be tolerated in any circumstances.
This written statement of behaviour principles is reviewed and approved by the full Governing Body annually.