Tips on how to handle trouble

12th September 2003 at 01:00
Some headteachers believe Judy Kirby's job is to "come into schools and stop little Johnny being horrible".

But, as the former teacher explains, her role is actually to find a greater variety of ways to help schools tackle misbehaviour.

Mrs Kirby is one of the new behaviour and attendance consultants, who began work in every local authority this term as a part of a pound;75 million Government initiative.

Their job is to work with secondary schools and to train teachers so they can cope better with their 11 to 14-year-old pupils.

One of the first schools Mrs Kirby visited after starting her job with the London borough of Hounslow was Brentford school for girls.

She carried out a "behaviour audit" and made a series of recommendations.

"The staff were delighted to hear the school didn't have any big problems like bullying because it has a very positive ethos," she said.

"The recommendations were mainly small things. Like they should improve punctuality - of pupils and teachers - so no-one is hanging around when lessons are starting."

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