'A breath of fresh air'

4th February 2005 at 00:00
Teachers give their views on Ruth Kelly's behaviour speech in Blackpool Ann Stahler, deputy head, New Heys school in Liverpool: "There was nothing new that we are not already doing in our school. But Ruth Kelly's got it right. We have found having a learning support unit and organising negotiated transfers to be very positive."

Michelle Hayward, assistant head, Broughton Hall high, Liverpool: "I'm glad the Government is making such a thing about behaviour, because parents will see it on the news and start thinking more about their responsibilities.

Like 'Maybe I shouldn't let my child take their mobile phone to school'. It is a breath of fresh air."

Bernard Swarbrick, head of St Patrick's Roman Catholic high, in Salford:

"When she talks of zero-tolerance I don't think it means we should be excluding pupils for the slightest misdemeanour.

"It is smaller matters, like teachers stopping their lessons and not carrying on until everyone is silent. That should be standard practice."

Pam Foy, acting head, New Heys school, Liverpool: "There needs to be additional funding to deal with the most disruptive pupils and that was not fully addressed.

"Behaviour is already an important issue for schools. I think some schools will feel even more pressured when they hear about the changes to inspections."

Colin Simkins, head of Hodgson high, Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, said:

"Behaviour is a crucial issue for secondary schools and the ideas are very sensible. I have no problems with the changes to inspections - we've moved on a long way from the Chris Woodhead days."

Lynn Porter, head of George Tomlinson school in Bolton: "I was pleased Ruth Kelly talked about how we have to address the needs of each child, because improving behaviour is about providing support, not simply looking at punishments.

"Headteachers will be very effective at working together on this, though there is still a role for the local authority."

Michael Shaw

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