Bad behaviour in more than 500 schools to be tackled by DfE

Tom Bennett appointed lead behaviour adviser to implement £10 million scheme

Tom Bennett is heading up the DfE's £10m initiative on pupil behaviour.

The Department for Education has launched a £10 million initiative to tackle bad behaviour at more than 500 schools.

The scheme, led by government behaviour tsar Tom Bennett – now appointed lead adviser in an expanded role – will involve a “network of expert schools” being identified to tackle disruptive behaviour at schools “in need of support”.

However, the DfE is yet to provide detail on how the exemplar and struggling schools will be selected, or whether schools will be forced to accept the support.

Announcing the scheme, the DfE said its network would be made up of “schools that have exemplary behaviour management practices and effective whole-school cultures”.


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“They will work with other schools offering advice on ways to better manage behaviour using measures that have been proven to have an effect.”

The DfE said this could include staff training, introducing centralised detention systems, new sanctions and rewards systems for pupils, and focusing on pupil attendance and punctuality.

A team of advisers will be appointed to work alongside Mr Bennett and select the lead behaviour schools. The government said they would be “education professions with a track-record and understanding of improving behaviour in schools”.

The programme will launch in September 2020 and will run for an initial period of three years.

School standards minister Nick Gibb said: “Calm and safe learning environments benefit all students, allowing them to concentrate fully on their studies. Just one instance of bad behaviour in a classroom can derail an entire lesson and hold back every single other pupil in the room.

“We know these instances of classroom disruption damage teachers’ morale and increase workload and stress and that’s why we want schools to instil cultures of good behaviour top to bottom.

“As a government, continuing the improvement of pupil behaviour in our schools is a key priority. With £10 million of funding, the support provided to schools will allow teachers to get on with what they do best – teaching – and empower school leaders to implement their behaviour policies correctly and robustly.”

Mr Bennett said: “Good behaviour is fundamental – not just to great learning, but countless other goals we value. However, too many students don’t enjoy classrooms where they can thrive and feel safe, and teachers need support and training to ensure this is the case.

“This scheme may very well be one of the most significant strategies for public good we have seen in decades and I’m thrilled to be leading this national programme that will help schools become safer and calmer, allowing more children and staff to flourish.”

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