The behaviour question

10th January 2014 at 00:00

After working as a teaching assistant for 16 years, I now want to progress. I have worked in primary schools and in pupil referral units in primary and secondary settings, and I have plenty of experience in managing children's behaviour. To try to climb the ladder, I have attended several courses and studied for a diploma in behaviour management. I'm now looking for jobs such as behaviour coordinator, behaviour leader or behaviour mentor. Do these roles exist?

What you said

I work in an alternative emotional and behavioural difficulties school. There are certainly roles in a setting such as ours that would suit your experience and skills. Our support staff have lots of opportunities for development and taking the lead in areas that suit and interest them.

The expert view

It sounds as though you're looking for a role that in many schools is held by either the head of year or by a member of the senior leadership team. Not being a teacher will be an impediment to your ambitions, but not necessarily a barrier. Rather than waiting for a post to appear, identify schools that you feel may have a need for your skills and send a speculative proposal to the school leader, outlining what you could do for them and how you would achieve it. School leaders can create posts if they think there is a need.

You'll need to demonstrate how you have been effective in similar situations, so get your CV sorted. Have you considered working in alternative provision? There are many pupil referral units and mini schools for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties that deal with students in a "boutique" way - I'm sure one of them would be glad of your experience. Finally, have you approached your present school with your thoughts? Many schools would be happy to consider a change of role if you can persuade them that there's a gap to be filled.

Tom Bennett is author of The Behaviour Guru. Read more from Tom on his TES Connect blog or follow him on Twitter at @tesBehaviour. Watch his behaviour videos at www.tesconnect.combehaviourvideos

Post your questions at www.tesconnect.combehaviour.


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