Ofsted’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman has published commentary on managing behaviour in schools and summarising Ofsted’s findings. She highlighted that “if we do not get managing behaviour right, we will not be able to provide children with the quality of education they deserve” and that the new education inspection framework included a ‘behaviour and attitudes’ judgement.
Ofsted finds that behaviour remains a major concern for teachers and a source of stress. Ofsted’s teacher well-being study found that many teachers felt that senior leaders provided insufficient support. Compared to the 2014 report on behaviour, ‘Below the radar’, Ofsted reported that there had been some positive developments around the importance of consistency in the implementation of behaviour policies. Schools favoured whole-school behaviour management approaches and shared expectations where a set of consistent routines are put into practice and consistently applied. However, the research emphasised the importance of flexibility for pupils with particular needs such as a disability or mental health issues.
A majority of schools stated the importance of building and maintaining positive relationships with all pupils to ensure ongoing good behaviour and management. Through these relationships, staff felt they were more able to pick up on behaviour that was out of character and apply flexibility in behaviour policy. The research also emphasised the importance of parental engagement and parents reinforcing school-based rewards and sanctions to make it easier for staff to apply the policy and for children to accept the consequences of their behaviour. The research also reveals further avenues to consider including effective transitions from one school setting to another, how the best PRUs able to work effectively with challenging pupils and what training effective schools employ to deal with behaviour. Ofsted will be carrying out further research on behaviour, looking specifically at best practice.