Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Local teachers and students discuss behaviour management in schools

Friday, 06 February 2015

Local teachers and students discuss behaviour management in schools

Over 100 teachers and students recently attended a ‘Perspectives on Behaviour’ conference at the School of Education.

The conference was led by teachers Andy Lole and Julia Sealby from Mulberry Bush School, a specialist residential school for traumatised children who discussed new ways of managing behaviour and how OfSTED judge behaviour in schools.

Behaviour management presents challenges for both students and experienced teachers and has been a topic high on the Ofsted agenda in recent years. In relation to understanding behaviour, the conference discussions centred around three core themes:

  • Relationships from a psycho-dynamic perspective;
  • Reflective practice and having protected time for ALL adults supporting children to engage in this process;
  • Shared understandings of the whole school community in relation to expectations, routines, consistency of approaches etc.

A refreshing aspect of this conference was the focus on adults rather than children and whole school and individual aspects rather than strategies and interventions.

As a practising OfSTED inspector Andy was able to share examples of how schools demonstrate outstanding practice with regards to behaviour. He spent time discussing current concerns with regards to low-level disruption in classrooms and suggested that this can be minimised by ensuring that all children feel safe within their learning environment, feel that their learning is valued and that they are all able to succeed to a high standard.

As a previous behaviour support teacher who now provides outreach support for schools across the county, Julia provided specific case study examples of how schools that have experienced difficulties in relation to behaviour were able to resolve these difficulties.

Debbie Bowers, School Direct Lead for Oxford Brookes, said:

I felt that Andy and Julia brought a new perspective to the whole area of Behaviour Management, which allowed teachers and students to reflect on their own practice in the classroom especially around the statement that behaviour is a pupil's way of communicating an unmet emotional need.

Due to the high demand for places, Brookes will be repeating the conference on Wednesday 4 March 2015.

Jon Reid, Joint Subject Coordinator for Education Studies and ITE 'Advocate for Behaviour', added:

Highlights of the conference for me included ideas which really help one to step back and consider the complexity of pupil behaviour in educational contexts. The conference was a great opportunity to consider future collaboration between the School of Education and the Mulberry Bush School and I know that the next run of this conference will be equally popular.
If you would like to read more of the 'Perspectives on Behaviour' highlights, search for #OBUBSN where conference attendees were encouraged to Tweet thoughts, ideas and suggestions during and after the event.