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Pupils behaving badly

Getting the Buggers to Behave By Sue Cowley Continuum pound;9.99

The book is rich and realistic: rich in the array of strategies and examples that work, and realistic in that it is based on vivid examples of how youngsters misbehave.

So whether it is control techniques, or the balance between the individual teacher's efforts and the need for a whole-school consistent approach to behaviour, or the differences between meeting a class for the first time and encountering difficulties with a group over a large period, Ms Cowley has some illuminating and always useful ideas.

Her advice is practical, sound and interspersed with imaginative ideas that arrest attention - I particularly enjoyed the description of the technology lesson which the teacher opens by eating from a can of dog food.

If I was head of a school always (unfortunately) discussing behaviour, I would buy a copy for all the staff, arrange an in-service day and review the whole-school practices to enable all teachers to observe each other's practice in a focused way.

Tim Brighouse Tim Brighouse is chief education officer for Birmingham

This is a shortened version of the review that appears in this week's Friday magazine in The TES

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