Solution Focused Education – the positive pathway to wellbeing and behaviour for learning

Solution Focused Education – the positive pathway to wellbeing and behaviour for learning

How can we get children to behave properly in school, to take their work seriously and stop messing about? The answer offered by the DfE is to do more of what’s done already. Focus on the bad behaviour you can see, put aside thinking about what might underly it, and apply graded punishment it until it stops. Knowing what children find unpleasant the pain can […]

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Structured kindness; striking the balance between discipline and care in schools

Structured kindness; striking the balance between discipline and care in schools

A while ago I met twenty children from years 7 to 11 in a high school, for 1:1 Solutions Focused Coaching sessions. They’d been put forward as children finding life in school most difficult and beyond the reach of the established routines of reward and punishment behaviour management. The group included; A 12 year old who spoke in a whisper, who struggled to think of […]

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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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‘Stop school exclusions’ says DfEs mental health tsar

‘Stop school exclusions’ says DfEs mental health tsar

The important thing about science is not much to obtain new facts but to discover new ways of thinking  about them  – Sir William Bragg (1862-1942) 21st century behaviour science is presenting us with a wealth of new facts about children and young people, demonstrating the close linkages between their mental health and what they show us through their behaviour. It’s become clear that physical […]

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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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