“Creating A Culture: How School Leaders Can Optimise Behaviour” is a report written by government advisor Tom Bennett.
Within it Tom details that poor conduct remains a significant issue for many schools in England and that there needs to be better ways available to help tackle the problem.
He notes “There is a striking contrast between data gathered from school leaders or school inspectors, and the experiences of frontline teachers and students. This is partly understandable. School leaders are held to account by their ability to demonstrate they have secured a safe, calm school environment. Stakes for leaders are high. It is natural for the most positive interpretation of one’s school to be presented publicly, especially in circumstances of external inspection.” The report concludes that “Just as importantly, though, there are many schools that demonstrate it is possible to improve in even the most beleaguered of circumstances.”
To provide an example of the differences between schools, he reports that he has seen some schools where lateness is not recorded as misbehaviour and other schools where it is. Bennett has said “Now, if you don’t record lateness as a misbehaviour, and you’ve got lots of lateness, then your behaviour will look much better in formal external data, than it will be if you’re a slightly more, shall we say, upfront school which does record that kind of data,” “So there’s a lot of variety in practices which can lead to rather misleading data. I’m not suggesting that it’s corrupt, I’m suggesting that it’s human beings reacting as human beings to slightly perverse incentives.”
Bennett concludes that there is no silver bullet to tackling disruptive conduct but that there are a number of approaches that can be used to deal with the issue and that good school leadership is key to creating the right culture in a school.