How to build a behaviour policy with inclusion at its heart

If the behaviour policy of a school doesn’t work for all, then it doesn’t work at all, says Jarlath O’Brien, who offers five steps to ensure that children with SEND are not disproportionately penalised

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It is common to hear schools demanding consistency in behavioural practice. This is often taken to mean that the response to a particular misdemeanour will always, without exception, be the same. And you can see why people might think it’s a good idea. But such an approach is unrealistic and likely to result in one of two things: a school that operates contrary to its stated behaviour policy, which is problematic in its own way; or a school that excludes children, both formally and informally, unnecessarily.

The reason is often, but not always, children with SEND. For example, I once hosted a ...

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