Personal approaches key to boosting pupil behaviour


Personalised approaches are the key to tackling unruly and disruptive behaviour in the classroom, new guidance suggests.

According to the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), universal approaches will not work for all pupils, as some need more intensive levels of teaching support.

Instead, it is suggested that teachers should issue daily report cards and greet all of their pupils at the door each day, as the research suggests that such approaches can improve pupil behaviour.

The research also suggests that there is a lack of evidence over whether zero tolerance behaviour policies – the whole school approaches to discipline – work well in schools.

Such policies often result in detentions for a number of different misbehaviours, with serious offences resulting in exclusion.

However, the reality is often different as the majority of schools “allow exceptions to their rules”, according to the government’s behaviour tsar Tom Bennett.

He said that schools need to have consistent systems in place, and that teaching staff need to ensure that rules are reliably enforced.

“Exceptions are a necessary part of any institutional bureaucracy, but they must be exceptional, logical and consistent,” he explained.

The new guidance includes six recommendations for teachers that can help to tackle behavioural issues in the classroom, including:

  • Develop better relationships with pupils in order to grasp their motivation for misbehaving
  • Focus on teaching learning behaviours to improve wider behaviour
  • Create classroom management strategies with a focus on behaviour
  • Use targeted approaches to support pupils with individual needs
  • Make behaviour approaches part of everyday classroom activity
  • Be consistent with all approaches to behaviour.

EEF chief executive, Sir Kevan Collins described behaviour as a challenge for schools but added that issues can be overcome with the right approaches.

“Today’s report shows how consistent approaches to behaviour can lead to strong relationships between teachers and students and form the foundations for learning,” he added.