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Tips on how to handle trouble

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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