Nine steps to stop labelling
Professor Pamela Munn and Gwynedd Lloyd, writing in Sharing good practice, a booklet with nine illustrations of how schools are tackling exclusion, say a key theme from the research is to provide high-quality learning for such pupils by integrating them with their peers and avoiding the damaging effects of labelling.
They comment: "Such labelling can be the result of well-intentioned responses, such as special provision which takes a pupil out of the classroom for prolonged periods, or a specially adapted curriculum. There is much to learn about sensitive responses to pupils' needs which promote feelings of self-worth and self-esteem, rather than reinforcing notions of difference and inferiority. "
The authors focus on whole-school and classroom approaches and include features on partnership with parents, classroom management in primaries, circle time, positive reinforcement, primary-secondary transition, support for learning and behaviour support experiences. Accounts of good practice are penned by practising teachers.
The researchers add: "Teachers have great skill, knowledge and experience in providing high quality education for children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Yet they rarely make this explicit beyond their own schools " Copies of the booklet are being distributed free to schools.