Gibb says slimline bad behaviour guidance shows trust in profession

19th November 2010 at 00:00

New guidance for teachers on how to tackle bad behaviour will total only "20-30" pages instead of the hundreds of documents produced by the previous government, schools minister Nick Gibb has said.

The new "slimmed down" advice is due out in the next few months and ministers hope they will be compared favourably to the 39 publications produced by Labour ministers about behaviour and attendance between 2006 and 2010.

Mr Gibb, appearing before the Commons education select committee this week, said he believed too much guidance "stifles innovation" and the new approach to behaviour policies was designed to "give power back to teachers".

"The days when schools would get one lever-arch file a week, which would often lie on desks untouched, are over," he told MPs. "The current guidance is not read by teachers. This shows them we trust and support them as professionals."

The new advice is likely to reflect changes to behaviour laws, which are due to be announced in the forthcoming white paper.

Mr Gibb is also reviewing the standards new teachers need to meet to obtain qualified teacher status (QTS) in order to ensure entrants to the profession are able to cope with bad behaviour.

There are also likely to be major changes to exclusion regulations so that pupils who commit serious offences such as carrying knives cannot be reinstated in the same school by an appeal panel.

"This is unacceptable. It was a key priority when we were devising policies," Mr Gibb said. "We need to make sure children are excluded fairly, and capricious decisions don't happen. But we also need to make sure pupils don't come trotting back into school when they have committed serious offences."

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