The Folkestone School for Girls Academy Trust is known as “the school” in this policy.

Equality

This policy has been drawn up in consultation with students, parents, teachers, other staff and senior leaders of the school. This policy has been written in accordance with the levelling up principle of our Single Equalities Scheme and takes account of the six equalities strands - gender, disability, ethnicity, sexuality, belief and age.

Rationale

We believe that high-quality teaching and learning are inextricably linked to good behaviour and discipline. An orderly atmosphere is a prerequisite for effective teaching and learning, just as high quality teaching will promote effective learning and good behaviour. We are committed to providing an environment where all members of the school community can feel safe, happy, accepted and integrated.

We will emphasise, reinforce and reward positive behaviour wherever possible. In a positive school environment, everyone is valued as an individual and hard work, effort and initiative are rewarded. We are committed to the celebration of all success, be it academic, sporting or social achievement.

Students will be encouraged to develop

  • Respect for others - their feelings, opinions, cultures, limitations and the right to their individuality;
  • Respect for themselves - pride in their own achievement and that of others, high standards of dress and behaviour and the desire to produce their best work at all times;
  • Respect for the environment - their own, the school and other people’s property and the community in which we live;
  • Respect for the future - the belief that we can all make a difference by our contribution to the local, national and global community.

The school also holds an important position in the wider community, educating the young citizens of tomorrow in a way which will ensure that they take a positive and proactive role within their community in the future. It is, therefore, important that our students have high self-esteem and confidence, reflected through a good education, smart school uniform and their work within a quality learning environment. It is also important that students represent the school in a positive light through their behaviour whilst not in school.

We aim for all staff to apply the Behaviour Policy consistently, but we acknowledge that in a school with hundreds of students taking part in lessons, social times, travelling to and from site, interacting through social media, and going off-site on trips and fixtures, that staff will frequently have to make quick decisions and apply sanctions in different ways depending on context. The school reserves the right to take into account the circumstances leading up to an incident of poor behaviour, and the individual student’s circumstances, when deciding on a suitable sanction. The Principal reserves the right to change sanctions at a later date when the full situation has been explained or new information comes to light.

Aims

The aim of this policy is to set out the boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. The school operates a whole school approach to behaviour and discipline. This aims to:

  • Facilitate excellent behaviour for learning and ensure students complete assigned work;
  • Promote excellent behaviour, self-discipline and respect both in and outside the classroom;
  • Prevent bullying, including homophobic and racist bullying;
  • Establish and maintain a bright, clean and attractive environment;
  • Promote and improve academic and wider achievement and physical wellbeing.

Behaviour for Learning

Behaviour for Learning is about focusing on students’ learning and progress. It is a positive system of behaviour management which focuses on rewarding students for behaviour which allows for good learning experiences to take place. Good behaviour is rewarded in the classroom. The emphasis is on the student making the right choice and being rewarded for those choices. Each lesson is a chance for students to start afresh.

Rewarding Good Behaviour

Rewards help to promote good behaviour. They aim to raise self-esteem and develop student confidence through strategies including:

  • Regular praise in lessons;
  • Recognising and rewarding good behaviour in every lessons;
  • Recognising the students who attend on time, wear the uniform well and bring the necessary equipment;
  • A reward system, including Fruition Vouchers, certificates and prizes, which acknowledges all aspects of achievement and progress;
  • Opportunities to celebrate publicly;
  • Displays of work and students’ achievements;
  • Referral to Senior Leaders or DoLs for commendations;
  • Postcards or phone calls home which acknowledge success.

Assessment, Monitoring and Tracking

As part of our assessment programme, students’ behaviour and attitudes to learning are assessed against published criteria and reports are shared with parents at regular intervals during the academic year by written reports, verbal reports at parents’ meetings and target review meetings.

Students who need to improve aspects of their behaviour are monitored closely and set clear targets. As a result of termly attitude to learning data, students may be placed on one of the schools’ reporting systems in order to support them to improve.

Parental Support

The school encourages parents to support good attendance, behaviour and appearance through home-school agreements, parents meetings, newsletters and the in touch system. Parents and students will be aware that the school has an equal opportunities policy and will monitor the impact of all policies and procedures on different groups by race and disability.

All staff will seek to communicate regularly with parents about any concerns. Parents are expected to meet with their child’s Student Development Leader (SDL) or house Senior Leader following a period of behaviour monitoring, or a fixed-term exclusion, so that we can work together to plan ways to support their daughter to make improvements.

Strategies used to Modify Behaviour

A number of strategies may be used in an attempt to modify poor behaviour where necessary. These include:

  • Emphasis being placed on correcting poor behaviour through modelling good behaviour, using positive language and giving clear instructions about the expected behaviour;
  • A graduated approach to correction, appropriate to the incident, will be used by all staff, as outlined in the Behaviour Management Procedures documentation;
  • A clear and graduated system of consequences will follow wrong choices or poor behaviour, with students consistently being given the chance to put things right before sanctions are applied;
  • The Behaviour for Learning Policy and Behaviour Management Procedures documentation being displayed in every classroom, shared with students and applied consistently.

Usually, a range of strategies will be put into place by the classroom teacher before students are referred to a Director of Learning, Key Stage Leader/Assistant, SDL or Senior Leader, as appropriate. More serious infringements of the behaviour for learning code may be referred directly to senior staff. Staff will record all incidents of poor behaviour, work or effort on SIMS, which will be monitored and tracked by the Key Stage Leaders/Assistants, SDL’s or Senior Leaders on a regular basis.

Sanctions

As outlined in the Behaviour Management Procedures documentation, a range of sanctions will be applied consistently in all departments and house teams. These include:

  • Students being moved seats or places within a lesson;
  • Break and lunch time detentions - these will be given if students do not follow the instructions of the teacher, or other members of staff;
  • Removal from the lesson - failure to follow a reasonable request and/or rudeness to a teacher in the classroom may result in a student being removed to sit in the back of another class for the remainder of the lesson. A further sanction may follow as a result;
  • Reports - students may be put on report to a Director of Learning due to poor behaviour, work or effort in a subject area. If there are issues in a number of subject areas, students will be put on report in the first instance to their SDL. If there is no improvement, a student may be put on report to the Senior Leader responsible for their house. These reports will provide students with measurable targets to enable them to demonstrate progress;
  • After-school or weekend detentions may be issued with 24 hours written or phone call notice by any staff, and with no notice, where necessary, by Key Stage Leaders and Senior Leaders. If a student fails to attend a detention, further sanctions will apply.
    • If a student who is on report to their SDL, or their house Senior Leader receives a ‘3’ during lessons 1-4, they will receive a lunchtime detention. If they receive a ‘3’ after lunch, they will receive an after-school detention on the same day. No additional notice is required, as being on report is notice in itself.
  • Withdrawal from school trips:
    • Non-curriculum based trips are not allowed whilst a student is on report to their SDL.
    • No school trips are allowed whilst a student is on report to a member of SLT (except if a teacher is willing to take a student on an essential curriculum trip, e.g. for public examination coursework).
    • Where necessary, a student may not be allowed to go on trips if her previous behaviour has given cause for concern.
  • Isolation - Students may be placed into isolation for persistent poor behaviour, for failing to attend a Senior Leader’s detention, or for a serious infringement of the Code of Conduct. Students will be kept out of lessons and social time and will be provided with work to complete from the subject teachers. They will be given access to food, drinks and breaks as appropriate.
  • Fixed-term exclusion - serious incidents, as outlined below, will result in students receiving a fixed-term exclusion. The number of days of exclusion will reflect the seriousness of the misdemeanour and will be the decision of the Principal in conjunction with the Senior Leader responsible for behaviour.
  • Managed move - students who do not follow the schools’ Code of Conduct, despite regular support and review, will be referred to the Shepway Schools Learning Partnership to consider a transfer to another school or education provision. Students coming into our school on a Managed Move will be fully supported so that they can settle well. Their progress will be reviewed regularly and those students from whom the move is a success will be given the opportunity to take an entry test. If they pass the entry test, they will be offered a place.
  • Permanent exclusion - this will be reserved for offences that will have a seriously damaging effect on the life of the school, as outlined below.

Serious Incidents leading to Isolation and Exclusion

Exclusion should be used sparingly in response to serious breaches of school policy or criminal law. This will apply mostly during school hours and whilst on a school trip, but may be extended to behaviour out of school hours in exceptional circumstances.

If the decision is taken to permanently exclude a student, it is normally seen as the final step in the process of dealing with disciplinary offences. The school will have used a wide range of strategies, however, in exceptional circumstances, the Principal may decide to permanently exclude a student without recourse to these strategies.

Each student will be treated as an individual and in the case of Children in Care, every effort will be made to contact social services and deal with matters sensitively.

The following behaviour will not be tolerated in the school, as it seriously undermines our values and principles, breaches the health and safety policy and puts the learning and safety of others at risk. Moreover, it is likely to lead to isolation and/or a fixed-term exclusion:

behaviour which puts others at risk of danger, including bringing into school, or using on the school premises, any drug, alcohol or illegal substance (see the school’s Drug Policy);

  • Verbal abuse of staff;
  • Arguing with or defying senior members of staff;
  • Persistent bullying, racism, transphobia or homophobia;
  • Persistent disruption or defiant behaviour, which disrupts the learning of others and where students have been offered advice and support to amend their behaviour and have refused to do so;
  • Vandalism;
  • Theft.

There are incidents for which permanent exclusion may be appropriate. These are taken from DfE guidance and include, for example:

  • Serious actual or threatened violence against another student or member of staff;
  • Sexual abuse or assault;
  • Supplying an illegal drug or carrying an offensive weapon
  • Undermining the ethos of the school through persistent failure to comply with school rules and regulations;
  • As a final step in a process for dealing with disciplinary offences following a wide range of other strategies, which have been tried without success.

All incidents will be investigated by the SDL and/or the Key Stage Leader/Assistant and/or a Senior Leader, before a decision is made to exclude. Students and staff involved, including witnesses, may be asked to write a statement. They may be questioned to clarify any missing or conflicting details. Students may be isolated, or excluded during the investigation.

Parents/carers will be contacted at the earliest opportunity once a decision has been made. Fixed-term exclusions are usually kept to between 1 and 5 days, with additional days being used for a very serious incident, or for persistent poor behaviour. When a student is excluded, her parents/carers must ensure that she is not present in a public place during school hours, without reasonable justification.

Parents/carers will be expected to attend a re-integration meeting, following a fixed-term exclusion. This is an important opportunity to agree a way forward.

After a fixed-term exclusion, if the parents/carers wish to complain, they have the right to make written representations about the decision to exclude, to the Governing Body. If they wish to do so, they should write to the Clerk of the Governing Body at the school address. In this case, either a meeting of the appropriate Governors will be convened, or a governor will supply a written response to the complaint.

Use of Reasonable Force

In very unusual circumstances, reasonable force may be used to prevent students from hurting themselves or others, from damaging property, or from causing disorder.

The school does not require parental consent to use reasonable force on a student.

The staff may use reasonable force where it is deemed absolutely necessary. For example to:

  • Prevent a student leaving the classroom where allowing the student to leave would risk their safety;
  • Prevent a student from attacking a member of staff or another student, or to stop a fight on the school premises;
  • Restrain a student at risk of harming themselves.

The school acknowledges its legal duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled children and children with Additional Educational Needs.

Searching students and confiscating property

Without consent: The Principal, delegated Senior Leader, Key Stage Leader/Assistant or SDL, has the power to search students without consent for weapons, alcohol, illegal drugs and stolen items.

With consent: Section 91 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 enables school staff to confiscate, retain or dispose of a student’s property and protects them for liability for damage to, or loss of, any confiscated items. This power allows school staff to search a student for, and to confiscate if found, any items which are not allowed in the school (e.g. cigarettes, lighters etc.), or are not allowed out during lessons (ie: mobile phones, MP3 players).

If a student refuses consent for a search the school may ask parents to attend a meeting to resolve the issue under investigation, and if necessary, isolate that student until the parent is able to attend the meeting. Cigarettes, or similar disallowed items will be destroyed on confiscation. Mobile phones, MP3 players and other legal, valuable items will be stored safely until a parent can collect them. School staff authorised to search and confiscate are the Senior Leadership Team, Key Stage Leaders/Assistants and SDLs. Other staff should refer to these authorised staff and not carry out a search themselves.

Conclusion

Our overriding aim is to work with parents/carers and other agencies, where necessary, to find ways of promoting excellent behaviour and modifying students’ unacceptable behaviour, so that the whole community can be safe and successful.

Our priority is that the climate in the classroom and around the school is calm and positive so that our students can learn effectively.

In the event of a permanent exclusion - see school exclusion protocol.

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Contact

The Folkestone School for Girls

Coolinge Lane

Folkestone, Kent

CT20 3RB United Kingdom

 

Tel: +44 (0) 1303 251125