Scenario 6 â** Effective sanctions

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Transcript Scenario 6 â** Effective sanctions

Self-management Resources to support Charlie Taylor’s Improving Teacher Training for Behaviour

Behaviour Scenarios

Scenario 6: Effective sanctions

This Scenario has been developed for Initial Teacher Training (ITT) to enable trainees to demonstrate knowledge, skills and understanding of behaviour management



Behaviour2Learn has developed 17 Scenarios focusing on the 8 areas highlighted in the Teaching Agency's document Improving teacher training for behaviour. These are: • • • • • • • • Personal Style Self-management Reflection School Systems Relationships Classroom Management More Challenging Behaviour Theoretical Knowledge Improving teacher training for behaviour has been developed by Charlie Taylor, the Government’s expert adviser on behaviour, to complement the new Teachers’ Standards that all teachers have to demonstrate from September 2012.


Self-management Scenario 6

Effective sanctions

Some pupils in your class are constantly distracting one another. You are becoming upset and angry with them. They ignore your threats of sanctions for misbehaviour.

How do you improve their attitude to work and keep them on task?

Self-management Key Learning Outcomes

• • • • • Knowledge of how to apply rewards and sanctions to improve behaviour.

Understanding the effect your responses, both verbal and non-verbal, can have on pupils’ behaviour Understanding how agreed rules can help to build good relationships and depersonalise stressful situations.

Practice in managing your own emotions when you are teaching.

Increased ability to use sanctions sparingly but effectively and to keep a focus on the positive.

Self-management What do you do?

Consider these responses and choose the best one(s):


If pupils misbehave, redirect their behaviour (“OK Stuart, we’re answering the questions on this sheet”).



Develop a hierarchy of sanctions to use progressively as behaviour gets worse.

Ask a more experienced member of staff to sit in on your lesson and give you feedback on using sanctions effectively.





Choose the worst behaving pupil and make a dramatic example of him or her.

Use the language of choice (“I want you to do this. If you choose not do it, this will happen. It is your choice.”). Tell the class how angry you feel and say that the next person to misbehave will cause the whole class to be in detention .

Allow take-up time (“I’m going to help that group, then I’ll be back to see how you’re getting on”).

Self-management What may be the best choice?

1, 5 and 7. Redirect behaviour, use the language of choice, allow take-up time 4. Ask for feedback and advice

It may be tempting to concentrate on punishments when everything is going wrong, but ever-escalating sanctions do not work. They may damage, rather than restore relationships. You need a range of sanctions, not a slippery slope for pupils to slide down. Standing over someone, waiting for them to do what you ask, may encourage confrontation.

Creating a more positive climate (especially if it includes clear warnings and choices that give pupils the chance to put things right and avoid being punished) is more effective than emphasising the negative.

Having clear, agreed ground rules for class behaviour helps to de-personalise the situation and build good relationships. You are not alone, you are part of a team and should use the help that colleagues can provide.

Self-management How might you prevent a recurrence?







Ensure that praise and rewards are used to reinforce good behaviour as frequently as possible ( a reward may simply be a smile, an encouraging word or a thumbs-up signal.) Ensure that basic needs for effective learning such as pace, challenge, clarity of instructions etc. are appropriate for the pupils.

Never make threats. Ensure that sanctions are presented as an inevitable consequence that will follow if pupils choose to misbehave.

Recognise that minor sanctions will often be enough, especially if explained assertively and not aggressively.

Include a restorative opportunity in the sanction, something that the pupil can do to put the situation right.

Ensure that you follow up; it is essential that you stick to your word and are fair and consistent.

Self-management Underlying Principles

• Using the language of limited choice involves pupils in disciplining themselves and encourages them to take responsibility for their actions.

• A range of sanctions may well be needed – but if you can deal with conflict in a restorative way this can help to prevent repeat offences.

• Sanctions in themselves don’t solve problems. However, they may provide a breathing space in which more positive behaviour can be restored and rewarded.

• Focusing on those who are doing things right helps to create a positive climate and ensures that those who misbehave do not get all the attention.

Self-management Rights and Responsibilities

• Schools are required to have a Behaviour Policy which should have an emphasis on rewards rather than sanctions. Teachers should ensure that they follow the policy. They should use praise effectively.

• Because a consistent approach throughout a school is likely to be more effective than individual efforts, and because pupils will consider it to be fair, teachers owe it to colleagues and pupils to be consistent.

• Being consistent does not mean being inflexible. Teachers should use professional judgement when applying rules.

• Only the headteacher, or a delegated representative, has the right to exclude pupils. Parents and pupils have the right of appeal against such exclusion.





Activities to try

When observing a lesson, keep a tally of sanctions and positive comments/praise for work and behaviour. What is the effect when sanctions are threatened or used or when rewards or praise are given?

In your classroom, try praising twice as much as normal (this will be difficult if you are already very positive!) Note the effect and discuss it with a colleague. The praise does not have to be excessive, it can be quite low-key but must be genuine.

Bearing in mind what you have learned about effective sanctions, make a list of sanctions that you could use to avoid a recurrence of a misbehaviour. Include restorative opportunities – things that pupils can do to put the situation right - wherever possible.

Self-management Conclusions

Sanctions in themselves don’t solve problems. However, they may provide a breathing space in which more positive behaviour can be restored and rewarded.

Practising techniques such as redirecting behaviour, using the language of limited choice and allowing take-up time helps to manage the emotions raised by challenging situations.

An agreed Code of Conduct also helps by focusing disapproval on unwanted behaviour, not on pupils themselves.

Sanctions should be clear and presented as an inevitable consequence that will follow if pupils choose to misbehave.

You should investigate restorative approaches and experiment with including restorative aspects in the sanctions you use.

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