Talking about scrapping exclusion from schools

Talking about scrapping exclusion from schools

My article last week ‘It’s time to scrap exclusion from schools attracted a few replies on Twitter, among them: * This is interesting. Reasoned sensible argument about exclusions. Thank you Geoff.The need for change. * And prison of course. Let us not safeguard children. * I’d be all for a system that doesn’t include exclusion. But I’ve yet to hear a practical proposal that achieves […]

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It’s time to scrap school exclusion.

It’s time to scrap school exclusion.

It’s time to scrap school exclusion. Why? Because Plan A isn’t working.   A story – Plan B. A young man on the edge of adulthood, experiencing such severe panic attacks it’s causing him to disengage and putting his educational future at risk. As part of a school team developing Solutions Focused Coaching as a new pastoral approach, I’m asked to work with him. His […]

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If not now, when? It’s our children’s lives were talking about.

If not now, when? It’s our children’s lives were talking about.

The Problem  Talk from Twitter this week; A July 2020 report from the then new Children’s Commissioner (England) ‘Vulnerable teenagers; where did it go wrong?’  Shining a light on the extent and impact of child vulnerability in England, focusing in particular on children with undiagnosed mental health issues, those excluded from mainstream education and children in gangs  From these conversations there were three clear flashpoints: […]

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Solutions Focused Coaching in Schools – the way forward

Solutions Focused Coaching in Schools – the way forward

Case note 1: “Some members of my team who are in school now starting to deliver Solutions Focused Coaching sessions shocked the socks off the school and surprised the young people – two very, very good sessions with two disillusioned young people. It was an incredibly uplifting professional experience to break through that original cynicism, disillusionment, disengagement …. They actually came into school to meet […]

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How does kindness figure in school for the 2020s?

How does kindness figure in school for the 2020s?

Performance is currently the clear front runner when it comes to assessing school effectiveness. Accountability is the keyword, evidenced by exam results backed up by a consistent discipline regime. This was emphasised this month in the English education secretary’s reference to children’s behaving in ways that promote performance, “… if they choose not to do so, then they need to be held to account where […]

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Children’s behaviour; why kindness matters

Children’s behaviour; why kindness matters

“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong” H.L.Menken Recently I wrote about the essential place for kindness in schools. In 2021 we have a  mountain of evidence accumulated over the last four decades which points to the need to take into account the biology of kindness in how we respond to children’s behaviour. In the middle of the […]

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Kindness in schools – the key to learning and success for 2021

Kindness in schools – the key to learning and success for 2021

I support children who struggle in school, and their schools, in a practical, evidence informed way, by increasing the capability of school staff to respond to children’s needs at the earliest opportunity, before turning to outside specialist services. Intentional, structured kindness is at the heart of what I do, and what I offer to schools as continuing professional development with my new online course – […]

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Solutions Focused Coaching in Schools – structured kindness for fast and effective Early Help for all children with challenging or withdrawn behaviour

Solutions Focused Coaching in Schools – structured kindness for fast and effective Early Help for all children with challenging or withdrawn behaviour

Children and young people who struggle to meet the demands of school are facing the additional stresses and changes brought about by the pandemic. Many of them who were struggling before the virus appeared will have suffered loss, bereavement and the effects of social isolation and ruptured relationships. We now have clear scientific evidence on the links between stress and behaviour; learning is only possible […]

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Part two; Exclusion, behaviour, mental health and happiness – a Nightingale moment for children?

Part two; Exclusion, behaviour, mental health and happiness – a Nightingale moment for children?

Responding to Covid19 Recently I wrote about the distinctly different responses we could take to the changed practices and new thinking Covid19 is demanding in schools. Option 1, routinely promoted by the DfE, is to put everything into the pre-pandemic box, with the routine use of punishment to control ‘bad’ behaviour, hitting children hard with exclusion as the weapon of choice if they go wrong. […]

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Exclusion, behaviour, mental health, happiness and children – a Nightingale moment?

Exclusion, behaviour, mental health, happiness and children – a Nightingale moment?

Emotional health in childhood ‘is the key to future happiness A London School of Economics study “What Predicts a Successful Life? A Life-course Model of Well-being” (Economic Journal 2014) offered “a completely new perspective on which factors contribute most to a satisfying life”, namely wellbeing, challenging “the basic assumption of educational policy in recent years – that academic achievement matters more than anything else”. (Guardian […]

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