John Cairney hears of growing anxieties from guidance teachers about future support for pupils as the career structure in secondary schools faces its biggest upheaval ever
The role of guidance staff in providing behavioural support for classroom teachers was stressed by Geoff Moss, a training consultant in managing learning behaviour, who was the main speaker at the conference.
Mr Moss said: "Even the best run systems in classrooms are not going to be able to meet the needs of the more challenging children. If we don't have a professional system like guidance in place then somebody else is going to have to deal with it.
"Typically, as we find in England, that is going to be senior staff who may already be burdened with lot of other tasks.'' Teachers should not assume that children know how to behave, and should approach the teaching of behaviour as they would any other subject, Mr Moss told the conference.
Teachers should have as much knowledge of their classroom ground rules as they do of their subject specialism in order to "assert themselves".
There should be no more than five core rules to reflect the teacher's basic needs. They should define acceptable behaviour, with methods for motivating pupils to follow the rules and a system of setting out limits on unacceptable behaviour.
"In practice this becomes a method of behaviour coaching to provide continuous teaching of responsible behaviour in the classroom," Mr Moss said.