Children – the triumph of hope over experience

Children – the triumph of hope over experience

  What does a World Mental Health Day or a Child Mental Health Week mean for children who struggle in school, affected by the the push and pull of other people’s demands and the consequences of adverse experiences in their lives? Often they’re the ones who seem to ignore your helping hand, who shout and cry for attention, who hurt themselves or withdraw into their […]

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Spare the rod?

Spare the rod?

      Or spoil the child?  When is enough enough and when is it too much? When practices run counter to what we know from recent and current research evidence on educating children with individual needs, differences and diversity, we need to look closely at what’s going on. I wrote this heading and the article below earlier this year. This week I read in […]

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Still, small voice of calm

Still, small voice of calm

The next few weeks will be a testing time for children moving class and moving schools. Most of them, from toddlers to teens, will come through it by finding themselves and their place, and settling into their relationships with people around them. They can look back at their summer holidays with happy memories, refreshed and eager to be back in school.  And some of them […]

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Reconnecting behaviour and learning

Reconnecting behaviour and learning

Discipline and authority in schools – a bumpy ride?  When is enough enough and when is it too much? When practices run counter to what we know from recent research evidence on educating children with individual needs, differences and diversity, we need to look closely at what’s going on. From Jonathan Haidt and Pamela Paresky quoted in the Guardian recently:  “ ‘By mollycoddling our children, we’re fuelling mental […]

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“I’m more than what happened to me”

“I’m more than what happened to me”

Exclusion. Defined by the behaviour that can be seen, attributed to hidden defects, moved away. Dr Shawn Ginwright’s 2018 article ‘The future of healing; shifting from trauma informed care to healing centred engagement’ (see footnote) discusses changes over the last 30 years in our approach to serious issues facing young people, to how they behave and respond and how we support them. He quotes one […]

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Discipline and Authority in schools – a bumpy ride

Discipline and Authority in schools – a bumpy ride

Reconnecting behaviour and learning Discipline and authority in schools – a bumpy ride. When is enough enough and when is it too much? When practices run counter to what we know from recent research evidence on educating children with individual needs, differences and diversity, we need to look closely at what’s going on. From Jonathan Haidt and Pamela Paresky quoted n the Guardian recently: “ […]

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Reconnecting behaviour with learning

Reconnecting behaviour with learning

  Are behaviour and learning two different things?  Most schools for many years have been treating them as if they are, with one policy for Learning and another for Behaviour. We talk about Behaviour Management as if it were a thing, but we don’t talk about Learning Management. Instead we refer to Teaching and Learning for everything across the broad curriculum except for that big […]

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New for 2019: online course “Solutions Focused Coaching for Students” in schools

New for 2019: online course “Solutions Focused Coaching for Students” in schools

A limited spaces online course with direct access to the author. ‘Solutions Focused Coaching for Students’ UK Pilot Online Course 2019   A partnership between Dr. Geoffrey James of Action Against Exclusion and Nick Burnett of Next Level Greatness Why take the course? Managing the behaviour of some children and young people can be difficult, time-consuming and ultimately self-defeating if the last resort is exclusion […]

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Action against exclusion – overcoming punishment logic 

Action against exclusion – overcoming punishment logic 

  I can’t remember being punished when I was little. Maybe because I wasn’t. Nursery school was stuck together with Tapwata glue and story time, primary school was open fires in the winter and playing outside in summer, with the first stirrings of maths and latin. Presumably I wasn’t in need of punishment to make me a better small person.  But secondary school was something […]

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Exclusion – what is it good for (again?)

Exclusion – what is it good for (again?)

Exclusion is a dark corner of educational practice. It’s been frequently in the news this year because supposedly high-performing schools across the country are gaming the system by excluding students who don’t jump the performance bar. One Select Committee report “Forgotten children; alternative provision and the scandal of ever increasing exclusions” shines a bright light on what’s going wrong and another Committee “The Government’s  Green […]

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