Behaviour News Update
Wednesday 11th March 2020
I have been listening to parents’ and students’ concerns regarding behaviour and the quality of teaching in some lessons. Thank you to the parents who spoke with me and Governors at Year 8 Parents’ Evening. We will continue to be available at these events to hear your views.
I of course share your concerns about the behaviour of some students and how this has impacted on the learning of the vast majority of the school population. Shown below is the letter I have written to the parents of those students so you know the action I am taking. I view school exclusion as a last resort and the leadership team at King Henry School have been working hard on alternatives that will get these students back in lessons and learning. This has been effective for some and we will continue but some students are not engaging with this and I have therefore gone to their parents requiring them to take responsibility for their behaviour.
We will not accept behaviours that disrupt learning, disrespect staff and cause persistent disruption. All students at King Henry have the right to learn and teachers have the right to teach. We wish a respectful community and while that respect is built on good relationships, it depends upon the certainty that unacceptable behaviour will have consequences.
I have been impressed by the enthusiasm of students and parents to learn and I wish to create the environment where that can take place. Any student that is prepared to learn and work within the expectations of the school is welcome at King Henry and will receive support. As I stated in my last letter, I have set the end of this term as the deadline by which I expect all students to be conforming to these expectations or they will need to be educated elsewhere.
It is important therefore that from this week all students are in their lessons and ready to learn. Any that are not will be called to a Positive Behaviour Panel meeting with their parents where their future at the school will be decided. The same will also be true for students who are defiant, rude or aggressive. In my previous letter I made it clear that we will not tolerate violence or aggression towards others in the school community and such behaviour will result in removal from the school community.
We have created a team of staff, the STEP team, to support teachers and ensure students are back in lessons and learning. This is not a Security Team as some students have referred to it but instead staff trained in de-escalation strategies able to resolve conflicts and help students to re-engage with their teachers and learning. This may take time and so a Response Room is established to provide a short term space where issues can be resolved. If this is not possible or if a student refuses to engage with the staff then longer term alternatives have been arranged, some of which may result in being placed in another school.
I recognise that some weak teaching and absent staff has impacted on the learning of some of your sons/daughters. That is why I have personally managed the recruitment of new and additional teaching staff for King Henry School. In doing so I have been keen to ensure that I would be happy to employ them at either school in the Trust. Additionally, I have been employing Associate Teachers, graduates wishing to train as teachers who will work to support your son/daughter in class in specific subjects. Some of these staff will begin in April but some will be in September.
There are no immediate solutions but I hope you will agree that there have been immediate actions. I would ask therefore that any concerns or feedback you have, you share with me and my team. We are united in wanting the best for your daughter/son but this will only be achieved by communication between parents and the school.
Mr D Deehan