Behaviour Policy for Hebden Bridge Learning Community
Created February 2016, reviewed annually thereafter. Next review September 2020
We, the Board of Trustees of Hebden Bridge Learning Community, having considered and reviewed the attached policy, agree to accept all the Statements, Principles and Procedures as listed in the document.
Policy Ratified at Trustee Board:
Signed Anil Sarna Signed Wendy Hollway
(Lead teacher) (Trustee)
Date: 17/09/2019 Date: 17/09/2019
With reference to: Anti-bullying; Complaints Procedure; Discipline and Exclusions; Ex-offender; Health and Safety; Promoting Good Behaviour; Special Educational Needs, Safeguarding, Child protection.
Aims and objectives.
A primary aim of our Learning Community is that every member of the Learning Community community feels valued and respected, and that each person is treated fairly and well. We are a caring community, whose values are built on mutual trust and respect. The Learning Community’s behaviour policy is therefore designed to promote an environment in which everyone feels happy, safe and secure and students can become positive, responsible and increasingly independent members of the Learning Community community.
The Learning Community’s behaviour policy is a means to support the Learning Community community by promoting good relationships, so that people can work together with the common purpose of helping everyone to learn. The Learning Community expects every member of the Learning Community community to behave in a considerate way towards others. We treat all children fairly and apply the behaviour policy in a consistent way. This policy is designed to promote good behaviour, rather than merely deter anti-social behaviour. Teachers congratulate children on good behaviour and give greater responsibilities to children who behave well.
If a dispute develops between students, the closest member of staff will intervene to try to help to resolve the situation there and then. If anybody’s physical and emotional safety is endangered, a member of staff will intervene immediately. Should they need to discuss the matter further, they can go to a quiet place (normally the office).
In the case of a protracted dispute, the following steps have been agreed by the democratic meeting:
Step 1. The dispute may be resolved directly by those involved.
Step 2. If unresolved, an impartial intermediary agreed by both parties helps to mediate, with optional help from others.
Step 3. In still unresolved. The matter goes to a mediation circle. Attendance is compulsory. The circle is made up of student mediators with a member of staff as an observer and minute taker. It is very empowering for the students to be able to resolve their own disputes with the help of their peers and they receive periodical training on how to do this. It is the key neutral body for dealing with disputes and we sincerely hope that no matter has to be taken any further.
However if it does…
Step 4. The dispute is brought up in a democratic meeting and discussed with all present. Attendance is compulsory.
Step 5. If it still has not been resolved, parents will be invited to help. Attendance is compulsory.
Step 6. Chair of the Board of Trustees is asked to intervene as a last resort. Attendance is compulsory. If the matter is not resolved at this stage students may be asked to leave the Learning Community.
The Learning Community employs proportionate sanctions according to each individual situation. The democratic meeting is involved in creating these sanctions in the belief that children follow rules better when they are involved in fashioning them. Class teachers discuss the Learning Community rules with each class, including if necessary, incidents of anti-social behaviour. In this way, every child in the Learning Community knows the expected standard of behaviour.
If Learning Community rules have been broken by a child and the child refuses to engage with a member of staff who in loco parentis is trying to make sure Learning Community rules are followed, then that child is in breach of the behaviour policy of the Learning Community. Refusal to engage with a member of staff can result in a warning.
If a child is disruptive in class, the teacher or other students will let them know it is not acceptable. If a child misbehaves repeatedly, the matter is dealt with by the mediation circle. If a child persists, they can be given a warning.
If a child’s behaviour endangers the safety of others, the class teacher stops the activity and prevents the child from taking part for the rest of that session. The lead teacher will be notified, as will parents. The student may be given a warning and may be sent home.
If bad behaviour persists (intimidation, bullying, being disruptive in class, refusing to engage with staff) the child is given up to two warnings. If they have had to be sent home, they are not allowed back into Learning Community until there has been a meeting with parents and a reflection on what happened. A third serious misbehaviour will trigger an automatic expulsion from the Learning Community.
In the event of a serious bad behaviour students are given time to reflect on their behaviour and required to attend a meeting with the lead teacher and their parents before they can be readmitted into the Learning Community. This meeting is to show that they have learnt from their experience about what is acceptable behaviour and are ready to re-join the cohort.
If the child and parent fail to come to a meeting this is a failure to abide by our behaviour policy and considered as a withdrawal of the child from the Learning Community. (see terms and conditions)
The Learning Community does not tolerate bullying. If we discover that an act of bullying or intimidation has taken place, we act immediately to stop any further occurrences of such behaviour. The procedure is as above. While it is difficult to eradicate bullying, we do everything in our power to ensure that all children attend Learning Community free from fear.
If a child threatens, hurts or bullies another child, the class teacher records the incident and follows Step 3, the mediation circle. If a child repeatedly acts in a way that disrupts or upsets others, Learning Communitythen Steps 4, 5 and 6 are followed.
If a child seriously compromises the health and safety of another child or member of staff, for example through an act of unacceptable physical aggression, the lead teacher will determine the necessity and length of a fixed-term exclusion.
If infraction is serious enough (for example, ongoing bullying), the tutor will make proposals to the Learning Community Meeting, Step 4, who can recommend a sanction or other outcome.
The child’s tutor will be involved as an advocate and intermediary (parents may or may not be involved at this stage).
It is possible that the Meeting will choose to avoid any sanction if the perpetrator can prove that they have gained enough insight so that the situation will not repeat. Alternatively, some action will be proposed, but only in extreme cases would a temporary exclusion be used.
For breaking the smoking rule, there is an automatic one-week exclusion.
It is forbidden for anyone, adult or child, to bring onto the Learning Community premises illegal drugs or mind-altering drugs or alcohol. The sanction is an automatic 2-week suspension during which the child will meet with their tutor and parents to discuss the offence and build a case for re-inclusion. Re-inclusion comes with the proviso that if it happens again the student will be automatically expelled.
In the event of drug misuse or illegal drug consumption the police and Children’s Services will be informed.
If any child is found to be suffering from the effects of alcohol or other substances, the Learning Community will immediately engage with other professionals in order to safeguard the child. The parents or guardians of any child involved will be notified in line with safeguarding procedures.
If a child is found to have deliberately brought illegal substances into Learning Community and is found to be distributing these to other students for money, the child will be permanently excluded from the Learning Community.
The Learning Community will immediately engage with other professionals in order to safeguard the child. The parents or guardians of any child involved will be notified in line with safeguarding procedures.
All members of staff are aware of the regulations regarding the use of force by teachers (see DfE guidance, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/use-of-reasonable-force-in-Learning Communitys). Teachers in our Learning Community do not hit, push or slap children. Staff only intervene physically to restrain children or to prevent injury to a child, or if a child is in danger of hurting him/herself. The actions that we take are in line with government guidelines on the restraint of children, Education Act 1996.
The Role of the Class Teacher
It is the responsibility of class teachers to ensure that the Learning Community rules are enforced in their classes, and that their classes behave in a responsible manner during lesson time. The class teachers in our Learning Community have high expectations of the children with regard to behaviour, and they strive to ensure that all children work to the best of their ability. The class teacher treats each child fairly. All children in Learning Community are treated with respect and understanding.
If a child misbehaves repeatedly in class, the class teacher keeps a record of all such incidents. In the first instance, the class teacher deals with incidents him/herself in the normal manner. However, if misbehaviour continues, the class teacher may take the matter to the Learning Community meeting or may seek help and advice from the staff meeting or the Lead teacher.
The class teacher liaises with external agencies, as necessary, to support and guide the progress of each child. The class teacher may, for example, discuss the needs of a child with the Local Authority’s behaviour support service.
The class teacher reports to parents and carers about the progress of each child in their class, in line with the Learning Community policy. The class teacher may also contact a parent if there are concerns about the behaviour or welfare of a child.
The Role of the Lead teacher
It is the responsibility of the Lead teacher to implement the Learning Community behaviour policy consistently throughout the Learning Community, heed the decisions of the Learning Community Meeting and to report to the Learning Community board, when requested, on the effectiveness of the policy. It is also the responsibility of the Lead teacher to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all children in the Learning Community. The Lead teacher supports the staff by implementing the policy, by setting the standards of behaviour, and by supporting staff in their implementation of the policy. The Lead teacher keeps records of all reported serious incidents of misbehaviour. The Lead teacher has the responsibility for giving fixed-term suspensions to individual children for serious acts of misbehaviour. For repeated or very serious acts of anti-social behaviour, the Lead teacher may permanently exclude a child. These actions are taken only after the Learning Community’s Board has been notified.
The Role of Parents and Carers
The Learning Community collaborates actively with parents and carers, so that children receive consistent messages about how to behave at home and at Learning Community. We explain the Learning Community rules in the Learning Community prospectus and newsletters, and we expect parents and carers to read them and support them. We expect parents and carers to support their child’s learning, and to cooperate with the Learning Community, as set out in the home–Learning Community agreement. We try to build a supportive dialogue between the home and the Learning Community, and we inform parents and carers if we have concerns about their child’s welfare or behaviour.
If the Learning Community decides to use sanctions to punish a child, we expect parents and carers to support the actions of the Learning Community. If parents and carers have any concerns about the way that their child has been treated, they should initially contact the class teacher. If the concern remains, they should contact the Lead teacher or the Chair of Trustees. If these discussions cannot resolve the problem, a formal grievance or appeal process can be implemented.
The Role of the Learning Community Board
The Board has the responsibility of setting down these general guidelines on standards of discipline and behaviour and of reviewing their effectiveness. It supports the Lead teacher in adhering to these guidelines. The Lead teacher has the day-to-day authority to implement the Learning Community’s policy on behaviour and discipline, but trustees may give advice to the Lead teacher about particular disciplinary issues.
Fixed-term and Permanent Exclusions
We do not wish to exclude any child from Learning Community, but sometimes this may be necessary. The Learning Community has therefore adopted the standard national list of reasons for exclusion.
Only the Lead teacher has the power to exclude a child from Learning Community, heeding the decision of the Learning Community Meeting. The Lead teacher may exclude a child for one or more fixed periods, for up to 45 days in any one Learning Community year. In extreme and exceptional circumstances, the Lead teacher may exclude a child permanently. It is also possible for the Lead teacher to convert a fixed-term exclusion into a permanent exclusion, if the circumstances warrant this.
If the Lead teacher excludes a child, s/he informs the parents or carers immediately, giving reasons for the exclusion. At the same time, the Lead teacher makes it clear to the parents or carers that they can, if they wish, appeal against the decision to the Chair of Board.
The Lead teacher informs the Learning Community Board about any permanent exclusion, and about any fixed-term exclusions beyond five days in any one term.
Monitoring and Review
The Lead teacher monitors the effectiveness of this policy on a regular basis, reporting to trustees and, if necessary, recommending further improvements. The Learning Community keeps records concerning incidents of misbehaviour. The class teacher records minor classroom incidents. The Lead teacher records those incidents in which a child is sent to him/her on account of bad behaviour. The Learning Community keeps a record of any incidents that occur at break or lunchtimes: lunchtime supervisors give written details of any incident in the incidents book.
The Lead teacher keeps a record of any child who is suspended for a fixed-term, or who is permanently excluded. It is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees to monitor the rate of suspensions and exclusions, and to ensure that the Learning Community policy is administered fairly and consistently. The Board of Trustees will seek to ensure that the Learning Community abides by the non-statutory guidance The Duty to Promote Race Equality: A Guide for Learning Communitys, and that no child is treated unfairly because of race or ethnic background.