Behaviour Policy

Introduction.

Our school vision

“Achieving excellence together.”

- Our school is committed to providing a happy, safe, stimulating and caring environment where individual needs are met.
- Through excellent teaching and learning, high expectations, teamwork, links with families and the wider community, all our pupils will achieve their full potential.
- Our school acknowledges the fact that at times pupils may exhibit challenging behaviour. This is defined as behaviour which is likely to impact on a pupil’s ability to participate fully in the school environment and therefore have a detrimental effect on their development.

This policy on managing pupil’s behaviour forms part of the school vision.

Principles.

- It is recognised that good behaviour must be acknowledged and celebrated as a matter of course and that this in itself is a primary tool in managing behaviour.
- As a school we believe in restorative principles of behaviour management.
- As a school we acknowledge that for those with serious communication impairment including autism, behaviour may be their most effective means of communication. At times that behaviour can be challenging but may not be within their control.
- Withdrawn and passive behaviour which affects a pupil’s ability to participate should be seen as challenging and solutions sought.
- Our slogan is “ Respond, Respect, and Restore”
- This slogan guides how we as staff respond to pupils when managing their behaviour.
- Respond - Calmly respond to the problem and make the situation safe
- Respect - Respect the difficulties the child has, listen to the child.
- Restore - Work to put the situation right.

Guidance on Touching and holding Children

- During the course of a normal day pupils at the school, depending on their degree of dependency on adults, may have a high degree of physical contact with staff looking after their physical needs
- For pupils with autistic spectrum conditions a ‘hands off unless danger’ approach should be taken at all times in line with the principles of the SCERTS model. Visual support, additional processing time and adaptation of the environment should be used to help pupils understand where they should be and what they should be doing.
- No male member of staff should be involved in the changing of female pupils regardless of the pupils age
- Female staff are able to change both male and female pupils
- Changing of pupils should take place in an appropriate area such as a toilet or changing room where the appropriate steps can be taken to afford that pupil a degree of dignity and privacy.
- Depending on the size and weight of the child or associated behavioural difficulties it may be necessary to have two adults present to assist. If the child being changed is female then a male member of staff may only assist with the lifting or in the process of getting to the changing area.
- Children will normally be closely supervised when moving around the school but some children may need to have their hands held. If the child is unable to walk and does not have a push chair or wheelchair for some reason then it is permissible to carry the child. ( this should be done only with very small children and for the shortest distance)
- Whilst it is recognised that touch can be a major part of Intensive Interaction pupils should not be picked up and cuddled unless they are distressed and require physical contact to ease their distress or it is pupil initiated or led. Such contact should be appropriate to the pupil’s level of ability and understanding.
- Staff must ensure that any physical contact is appropriate according to the child’s need, age and ability and not open to misinterpretation by the child or others.

Restorative approaches

Effective restorative practice

Foster awareness

- If possible staff should try to ask the pupil a few questions to foster awareness of how others have been affected by the wrong doing.
- For pupils with communication impairment including autism, careful observation should be used to try to establish the cause or purpose of the behaviour.
- Due to the difficulties experienced by those pupils with autistic spectrum disorders in managing their levels of stress and arousal, they may display self-regulatory behaviour which could at times be challenging. This should be recognised as a positive attempt by the pupil to help themselves and if possible steps taken to remedy the situation.

Avoid scolding or lecturing

- Although if appropriate, staff should point out to a pupil that their behaviour is wrong or unreasonable we should try to avoid scolding or lecturing. This helps to prevent pupils feeling defensive and victimised.
- Care should be taken that for those pupils with Autistic Spectrum Conditions as raised voices and angry faces can be source of reward and encouragement for challenging behaviour.

Involve pupils actively

- As far as possible depending upon the child’s level of understanding staff should aim to involve pupils in the restorative process.
- If appropriate pupils should be encouraged to speak, face their victims and listen to how others have been affected.
- If appropriate pupils should be encouraged to help decide how to repair the harm and are held accountable.

Accept ambiguity

- Sometimes as in a fight between two people, whose fault it is maybe unclear. Rather than apportion blame after an incident staff should work with pupils to look at how to put a situation right.

Separate the deed from the doer

- Staff should signal to the pupil their worth, and disapprove only of their wrong doing.
- A useful approach is to act surprised that they would do something like that given they are such a well behaved pupil normally.

View wrong doings as an opportunity for learning

- Staff  are aware that we are the educators.
- Staff  know our pupils have a lot to learn about appropriate behaviour so we view problems as an opportunity to teach pupils. Negative incidents therefore can turn into constructive events.
- Staff understand that behaviour is a form of communication and through careful observation causes can be established and plans made to try to address any difficulties being experienced.

Restorative practise is not about allowing a child to do what they want. It is about high support and high control

Interventions

There are 3 main types of intervention which can be used when a child’s behaviour is such that action is required for the safety of children concerned or others.

All these interventions should sit within a restorative approach.

1. Physical presence

- This recognises that in the normal course of supervising children, a member of staff’s visibility will often be enough to signal to the child the unspoken messages which carry with them a controlling authority. This reinforces the status of the teacher or teaching assistants as an adult with authority.
- For pupils with autism this may not be the case and the use of more concrete means of explanation may be required such as the use of visual support.
- It can include momentarily or at most temporarily standing in the way of a child who is ignoring instructions or losing control. The effect of the adult’s physical presence in the room may be to restrict a child’s movements. This is acceptable only so long as the duration of this restriction is short lived and it must be borne in mind that the use of physical presence of an adult coupled with unspoken threat may be oppressive.
- Unless there is risk of significant harm the pupil will always have the reassurance of an adult present however challenging their behaviour may be.

The following principles apply to the use of an adult’s physical presence:

- It must be judged as appropriate in the context of a particular situation or incident
It may be used in the context of actively engaging the child in discussion about the significance and implications of his/her behaviour(if the pupil is at that level of understanding)
- It cannot be persisted with if the child physically resists, when a decision needs to be taken about whether another form of intervention is justified.
- On some occasions it is better that an adult stands at some distance away from a pupil as by standing too close can distress the child further.
- Staff are aware that during times of extreme stress pupils with autistic spectrum conditions will have increased difficulty processing language and therefore language should be reduced and more processing time given.

2. Support and escorting

- There are occasions when control can be maintained by holding a child in a manner which does not carry the force of physical restraint. For e.g. an adult may hold a child’s hand to ensure that she/he is safe when crossing a road. A child may be successfully diverted from destructive or disruptive behaviour by being led away by the hand , arm, or by means of an arm around the shoulder.
- For some pupils offering a hand or an arm to hold is reassuring and is a supportive way of assisting the child in coping with change or moving from place to place
- However for pupils with ASC a good awareness of what support is most effective is requiredie physical support may be theleast effective and upset the child further
- Staff should beaware that some pupils with autistic spectrum conditions are extremely sensitive to touch and this should always be taken into account.
- During the course of a day many pupils receive physiotherapy, and physical guidance which will entail staff holding the pupil in order for that activity to take place. This is not a controlling situation but one of the pupil receiving therapy in order to maintain or improve mobility

The main factors separating supporting and escorting from physical restraint is the degree of force applied, and the child’s ability to remove themselves from the support or escort.

3. Physical Control.

i.  Tweendykes school follows TEAM TEACH guidelines on “positive handling”.

The emphasis is on a gradual and graded response to dealing with difficult behaviour. Physical Intervention will only be used as a last resort. The preferred option of dealing with challenging behaviours is through de-escalation techniques, good practise in autism (SCERTs ethos), allowing the child to take a break and / or good outsideand restorative principles.

ii. Physical restraint should only be used in the following circumstances:

- To avert danger or risk to the child or another individual
- To avoid damage to property
- To ensure good order and discipline is maintained

iii. Staff should adopt the following principles in the use of physical restraint:

- Wherever possible the child should be warned orally that physical restraint will be used unless she/he desists.
- All staff present should be warned that an intervention may be used and why
- Only the minimum force necessary to prevent injury or damage should be applied. The degree of force must only be sufficient to control the child at that time, and the restraint should be gradually released as the child regains control of him/herself.
- If at all possible it is desirable to have another member of staff present to assist and/or be a witness.
- Physical restraint should not be used purely to force compliance with staff instructions when there is no immediate danger present to people or property.
- Restraint should be an act of care and control not punishment.
- The key message is “Icare enough about you not to let you be out of control”

It should be noted that for many pupils any form of restraint is very stressful and may cause them to become even more angry and/ or distressed. Because of this a preferred option is usually to escort a pupil to an outside area or to one of the small group rooms we have in each classroom. Pupils can then be observed by staff until they are calm enough to re-join the group.

Staff must record any incidents when they either lock a door or prevent a child from leaving a room as a form of physical restraint using the Physical intervention recording forms.

iv. A distinction must be made between a “one off” intervention arising from a particular incident and intervention that would be acceptable as a regular feature of a management regime.

- In a one-off incident the form of intervention should be reasonable to maintain control. The degree and duration of force applied to maintain control must be proportional to the circumstances, including the disruption and the potential, damage to persons and property. The failure of a particular intervention to secure a child’s compliance should not automatically signal the immediate use of another more forceful form of intervention.
- All serious incidents where physical restraint has been used must be recorded in the physical restraint book, and the head teacher and assistant head teacher should be informed as soon as possible. A serious incident report form (CC3) should also be completed and a copy maintained in the pupil’s file. Parents should be informed of any serious incident involving their child.(Standard letter to parents on form CC4) It is always better to telephone a parent to explain the incident as that allows a discussion on the incident and provides further information that a letter
- Where incidents arise on a regular basis because of particular problems with a pupil then these should be discussed with the head teacher and a Behaviour Support Plan (BSP) should written.(Forms CC1 + 2) This should detail the approaches to be used with the child, and the physical management required. Where necessary an educational psychologist should be consulted for advice. Parent or carers should be informed of how the school is tackling this problem and agreement obtained for that course of action.
- A BSP should be reviewed on a regular basis. If at any time staff feel that the agreed approach is either unsafe or having a negative effect upon the child’s behaviour, senior staff should be immediately informed.
- Very few pupils at Tweendykes have a BSP as the schools ethos is “Hands off unless Danger” For the majority of pupils guidance on how best to support a child is detailed on their IEP – this will include all types of support for eg visual, self -regulatory activities., staff language, length of time child can safely access learning etc
- All staff should ensure they are fully aware of the support needs of the children they work with to ensure that they effectively and consistently support the child. This will ensure the need for any physical intervention is kept to an absolute minimum.

Exclusions

·      Tweendykes School is committed to working positively with each child in terms of their behaviour management.
·      It may be appropriate to internally exclude a child ie for the child to work away from their usual class group- under the supervision of a senior member of staff for a number of days. This can be a very effective tool in getting to bottom of what the issues are for the child- but also allows the class staff and other pupils time to recover from what might have been a potentially very upsetting incident.
·      Fixed term exclusions are not undertaken lightly, they will only be implemented if the head teacher feels that the behaviour was so severe that it was a unmanageable risk to staff and other pupils or that the pupil was fully aware of their actions and a fixed term exclusion would serve as a means of behavioural management.
·      It may be necessary at times for parents to be contacted to collect their child if school is experiencing problems with a child behaviour and the child cannot be calmed.- however this should not be used as a regular management strategy.
·      Permanent exclusion will only be made on the basis that the pupil’s behaviour cannot be safely managed by school staff i.e. that it is of a high risk to staff and other pupils , and that all options in terms of management strategies have been tried and failed.
·      For all pupils who may be permanently excluded the school will make every effort to meet with parents and discuss behaviour management. The educational psychology team and LA education officers will also be consulted for support.

Training

·      Staff will have training in autism awareness and the principles of the SCERTS model to work effectively to support pupils in managing their behaviour.
·      All staff will be trained in Team Teach if required inappropriate methods of holding and restraint and will be expected to apply them to the best of their ability.
·      Staff will be expected to undertake such training as provided by Tweendykes School.
·      As part of their induction programme before they start work at the school all new staff, supply staff , and students will have the principles of how this policy explained to them
·       The programme used in this school is TEAM TEACH and is recognised by the LEA.

Authorised Staff

- All teachers and teaching assistants level 2 , 3 + 4 are authorised to carry out physical restraint provided that they adhere to the guidance in this policy.
- Mid-day teaching assistants will receive training in the principles of Team Teach, however if an incident occurs across lunchtime that requires physical intervention a senior member of staff must be called.

Staff Support

- It is the responsibility of all staff to ensure the health and safety and well being of all members of the Tweendykes community at all times.
- This responsibility must extend to them in the first instance. It is therefore essential that staff make a judgement quickly about the safety of using a hold or restraint.
- They should only proceed if they have determined that all else has been tried and failed , that there is likely to be serious harm to persons or property if nothing is done or that the good order of the environment will be severely disrupted.
- In circumstances where staff judge that they are unable to apply restraint safely they should quickly send for another member of staff and do what they can to contain the situation foreg removing other pupils from area of danger.
- Staff that have had to use physical intervention will be offered the opportunity to discuss the incident as soon as possible with a senior member of staff.
- The governors and leadership team of the school will support the action of staff in the use of physical intervention provide that they have been conducted in the context of this policy and the methods drawn from Team Teach.

Implementation

This policy will be implemented and maintained through:

- The provision to every member of staff and Governors of a copy of the policy document
- Induction of all staff to ensure that there is an opportunity for detailed study and discussion of the policy.
- Regular training activities both in-house and reinforcement by external trainers as appropriate
- Monitoring of the implementation of the policy by the leadership team.
- The policy will be reviewed annually.

This policy should be read in conjunction with :

·      Circular 10/98
·      Section 550A of the Education Act 1996
·      DOH Permissible forms of control 4/93
·      LEA policy on use of physical interventions.
·      Tweendykes school Health and Safety Policy

Reviewed by governors November 2015