Best Practice

Rethinking our school behaviour policies

It is no wonder children cannot manage their feelings when they are being silently taught to ignore them by our behaviour policies and approaches. Shahana Knight considers how we respond to “bad behaviour”

Since returning to school after the pandemic, I have heard increasing reports of children struggling with their behaviour.

Children who found it difficult to listen, concentrate, manage friendships, and follow school rules before are struggling even more since their return.

Children who seemed engaged and settled before are now displaying higher levels of anxiety and stress and lower confidence.

In many schools, especially those in areas of deprivation, teachers are finding it hard to manage the needs of their children in the classroom, and headteachers are spending much more time responding to behaviour incidents.

The impact of the pandemic is becoming more apparent. Figures from the NHS show that 18% of seven to 16-year-olds now have a probable mental health disorder. In 2017, this figure stood at 12.1% (Newlove-Delgado et al, 2022).

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