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Peacock takes discipline driveto schools

THE Education Minister has moved swiftly to honour his pledges on making school discipline one of his top preoccupations.

Peter Peacock repeated his intention - outlined in his TES Scotland interview last week - to visit schools to learn about problems and good practices at first hand.

Mr Peacock also confirmed that the Scottish Executive would be funding "masterclasses" where headteachers with a proven track disciplinary record will share their expertise with other heads.

This week it was the turn of good practice to catch the ministerial eye as he visited Craigton primary in Glasgow, highly praised by HMI for its good pupil behaviour and close partnership with parents.

The parental emphasis will be reinforced by an expert group of heads and other professionals set up to strengthen partnership with schools; another group will have a remit of improving behaviour in communal areas of the school.

Mr Peacock announced that he aims to ensure that teachers' initial training and continuing professional development will provide more opportunities to learn about behaviour management.

These efforts are to be backed up with the appointment of a development officer to help schools implement the recommendations of the discipline task group, which is already being supported by pound;10 million from the Executive.

The Executive's review of the way authorities are implementing the task group's report reveals that 18 have developed different forms of support such as special units. Twenty-six say building programmes now take account of the need for special areas to deal with discipline. And 23 have reviewed their exclusion procedures and guidance to schools.

Inspectors who visited Craigton primary found the usual mix of praise and rewards for good behaviour, and tracking of pupils in the classroom and the playground.

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