Educating Greater Manchester: Avoiding ‘breaking point’

TV head's unique way of dealing with poor behaviour and cutting pupils' headphone use revealed tonight on Channel 4
10th November 2020, 6:04pm

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Educating Greater Manchester: Avoiding ‘breaking point’

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/educating-greater-manchester-avoiding-breaking-point
Povey

How do you deal with a Year 10 boy whose poor behaviour "can get staff to breaking point" and who's just returned from exclusion?

The answer, as revealed on tonight's Educating Greater Manchester, is to give him an "interactive baby" to look after throughout the school day when he has to stop it crying and change its nappy.

Headteacher Drew Povey's rationale is that "Jack is best when he's given responsibility" - and he's right.


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We see Jack push the "baby" around school in a pram, taking it to lessons and telling people "I'm a new dad, proud of myself!" And his behaviour improves as a result; he gets his work done instead of being kicked out of lessons.

Tonight's episode, on at 9.15pm, is the third in the new series, filmed in 2018, which is said by a source close to Mr Povey to be "harrowing" for him to watch. 

During filming, and unbeknown to tonight's TV audience, there was an investigation taking place at the school which resulted in Mr Povey being suspended after it was discovered that off-rolling had been discovered.

He later resigned stating that he accepted full responsibility for the off-rolling "errors" but stated that they had a "negligible" impact on exam results, and that the school did not gain financially.

However as the new series went out last week, parents came out to praise him, including one who said he "on-rolled" students excluded from other schools. 

In tonight's episode, the charismatic head attempts to cut headphone use in school through a stunt with a Year 11 pupil acting as a stooge in which he takes out a pair of scissors and cuts the boy's headphone cables - to the horror of pupils in the corridor.

Mr Povey says later: "Job done. Everyone's talking about it and you can literally see kids saying 'put your headphones away Povey's got his scissors out.'"

We also see Year 10 Holly Povey (no relation), who last week opened up about her "giggle incontinence" in which she wets herself if she laughs too much, who tonight becomes deputy head girl.

Meanwhile, the interactive babies are also given to girls in a health and social care class in a bid to "de-glamourise teenage pregnancy" however Year 9 pupil Faye admits it makes her want one more and says in five years she wants "a nice home, nice boyfriend, a child, a dog and to be fine and happy."

Episode three of Educating Greater Manchester is on Channel 4 tonight at 9.15pm.

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