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Applying the school behaviour policy consistently

Posted by Paul Raynor on Friday, 3 August 2018
Paul Raynor

Is it important for you to apply the school behaviour policy consistently?

It is accepted that teaching is a stressful profession! Workloads are high and demands on your time are constant. I have seen small pockets of teaching staff within schools make a choice not to apply the school behaviour policy consistently. They state views like “I don’t agree with it” “It doesn’t work so it is a waste of me time”.

In most cases these small pockets of teaching staff work in schools that have an OFSTED rating of 'Requires Improvement or below'. Are those pockets of teachers responsible for some of the adverse comments regarding behaviour made by OFSTED?

You must make your own mind up but I hope to put forward a point, for discussion, that they are, and this adds to the stress of all staff within the school.

I do believe all teaching and support staff within schools go through periods of added stress when OFSTED come to town. This can start with knowledge that they are at a school near you!

Questions like“Is it us next?” begin to arise and anxiety can peak when the Headteacher calls for all staff to remain for a 'short after school meeting'. I am one of those with first-hand experience of this!


To put my point across I will give a very brief outline of the inspection process.

  • Schools graded “Outstanding” are exempt from Section 5 Inspections (full)

  • Schools graded “Good” are inspected under Section 5 once every 4 years.

For both above gradings, the school’s behaviour must be good or above. To achieve that, the policy must be applied consistently, and the students must have a good understanding of the expectations and how staff will deal with them.

Schools graded “Requires Improvement” or below are subject to frequent inspections under Section 5 and constant section 8 inspections.

It goes without saying that this adds stress to an already stressful job! This stress is throughout the school, including Governors and Senior leadership teams.

I am sure many of you can recall this stress. I am not saying that concentrating on behaviour only will improve the OFSTED grading. I am saying the behaviour policy applied consistently (including Senior Leaders) WILL improve overall behaviour.

Improved behaviour will reduce stress within the school in both staff and students. Improved behaviour will free up your time to concentrate on delivering outstanding, engaging and inclusive teaching and learning – this will ensure that targets set regarding student progress are more achievable!

"...putting both improved behaviour and exceeding levels of progress will have a positive impact towards your OFSTED grading."

Below are some comments taken from schools “Requiring Improvement” from across different parts of the country – consistent OFSTED and student views.

  • “Teachers do not consistently follow the school’s assessment or behaviour policy”

  • “One pupil lamented that she wished teachers would just stick to the plans”

  • “Staff are not applying the behaviour management procedures consistently and pupils do not regard the procedure as effective.”

  • “Pupils confirm that behaviour around the Academy is improving but there is further work to be done in lessons. Pupils say not all teachers manage behaviour in the same way.”

All professionals working with children and young person’s agree that they thrive on consistency.

OFSTED and students in Secondary schools are clearly saying that also!

You as an individual, applying the behaviour policy consistently can have a positive impact on your own stress levels, the stress levels of your colleagues, and the overall standing of the school. It will also make a huge impact on your personal professional standing. 

You can also have a negative impact if you fall into those small pockets of teachers that have not bought into the idea that consistency works. It is what our students want and deserve!


About our Community Expert


Paul Raynor

Community Expert

Community expert and former Detective Inspector, Paul Raynor has direct experience in teaching educators how to better manage behaviour within secondary education.

Paul has experience with safeguarding, and has supported schools with writing behaviour policies in conjunction with senior leaders. He is an expert in his field.

Topics: Teacher development


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