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… a more settled start to the day for the staff team and pupils. 

Back in December 2021 the Spires were witnessing a significant increase in incidents and physical interventions within the school.  The staff were tired and emotionally drained and sickness was on the increase indicating a dissatisfaction within the team, this was consolidated through the Education Advisor to the Board latest audit which indicated a need for a rapid change.  Through discussion with my SLT team, and senior leaders I decided to get in touch with the Pro-active team to see if they could advise a way forward.

Helen spent a day at the school, seeing warts and all, talking to staff, pupils, observing lessons, play time and the structure of the day.  Following this Helen drew up a report to suggest ways forward.

The main body of this report took our behaviour policy back to basics.  It centred on spending time really unpicking the day of the child, spending quality time each morning delving deep into concerns of the previous day.  Our morning meetings at present consisted of whole staff debrief’s at 8.30am, not an effective use of time.  What Helen was suggesting was early morning strategy meetings within our phases that ensure consistency and boundaries to start each day.  In order to facilitate the time to do this it was suggested I change the timings of the school day so the pupils came in at 9.30am instead of 9am.  My team and myself took a while to believe this would be of benefit.  How would the parents and carers react to the change of school day, councils that have contracts, taxi’s in place – and the suggestion was to start as soon as we came back in January.  However, the initial panic over timings soon settled and in fact has been a major factor in the successful positive changes.

Beginning of January, we held an Inset day where our ProActive trainer Chris Sweeny delivered Helen’s vision.  The training was very thorough, a full day addressing:

  • Good teamwork and ground rules
  • General group agreements for strategy meetings
  • The structure of the meetings – what is going on in the life of the child; Identifying areas of concern; agreed strategies..
  • Starting with a behaviour audit for each child

Every morning 8.35 – 9.15am each team now sit down together and work through these strategies around each child.  It is not a quick process but what it does do is provide quality time to focus, whether on the next child on the agenda, revised strategies on one particular child, review an incident that may have taken place the day before.  We ensure all focus in the team is on this meeting, not on planning or prep for the day.  100% commitment which has evolved into having Clearcare open to review incidents across the school, timetables available to look at potential clashes before they happen, the pupil profile and curriculum file so everything is used in real time rather than an add on at the end of the teaching day.

The result, a more settled start to the day for the staff team and pupils.  Clear direction for the team on how to approach analysis of behaviour and troubleshoot pro-actively rather than reactively!  An increase in stability within each team, increased attendance and focus in lessons, better communication between the home and the teams and ultimately has empowered the teams and my SLT to take responsibility and ownership of their pupils rather than being led by me each morning.

We are only half a term in and the indications are that this is a brilliant process for our school.  I really appreciate the time and support from all around us to help implement this, my team have relished the consistency and space to have these discussions and it has been nothing but a positive drive forwards towards outstanding.

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