DfE: Get pupils, not teachers, to tell parents about their behaviour

Proposal is part of new advice to reduce teacher workload, which also suggests bringing in centralised detentions

Martin George

DfE advice on workload says schools should consider how pupils, rather than the teacher, can be responsible for their behaviour.

Pupils, rather than teachers, could tell parents and carers about their behaviour, new advice published by the Department for Education suggests.

The proposal is one of a series of measures that the department says schools should consider in order to reduce workload.

The revised advice, published this morning, includes a new section on managing behaviour.

It advises schools to “manage expectations of parents and carers about the level of detail to expect when reporting behaviour incidents, through the behaviour policy or other communications with parents".

It adds: “Consider how pupils, rather than the teacher, can be responsible for their behaviour; for example, by informing their parents and carers and writing reports for their teacher about their behaviour.”

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The document also suggests that schools consider running centralised detentions.

It says that a central point in the school that was responsible for out-of-class behaviour management could allow patterns to be spotted, and reduce the burden on teachers.

Behaviour and teacher workload

It adds: “Consider, for example, running centralised detentions where possible to free up teachers’ time and to allow data to be managed from a single point.”

The advice has been published on the day of education secretary Damian Hinds’ speech to the Association of School and College Leaders about plans to support teachers' and school leaders' wellbeing.

Schools are also asked to consider the amount of text that is logged when behaviour incidents are recorded.

The document says: “Consider who and what the text will be used for whilst ensuring key information is still recorded, and ask whether it will make a difference.

"Decide the amount of text needed for more serious and complex incidents to ensure there is a proportionate amount of detail.”

It says that behaviour codes should be “aligned with the behaviour policy and limited in number”.

And it adds that as few codes as possible should be used in order to streamline data entry, and highlights “simple systems” some schools use, such as “red, amber and gold” or "C1, C2 and C3”.

The document also warns that workload can increase if issues escalate, so it says support to address behaviour should be given as early as possible.

It says: “Consider points in the year when, where and with whom behaviour might be more challenging and focus support on these areas; for example, when exclusions peak, and take action to mitigate.”

Other tips include having a simple system so that teachers can log behaviour incidents, detentions and other pastoral information during the normal working day.

The DfE website says "the tips and case studies are not intended to be exhaustive and there’s no requirement for schools to use them".

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Martin George

Martin George

Martin George is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @geomr

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