Expectations for Learning - statement of intent. March 2019
The ideology of the Northern Education Trust is one of inclusivity. We wish to see success for all young people. This policy is unique to our Trust and is the result of constant review after the piloting of a behaviour policy over the past 12 months. We believe it ensures that expectations remain high whilst also understanding that one size does not fit all and that some young people require both adjustment and significant wrap-around care. We aspire to work extremely closely with Parents, Local Authorities and other partners to remove the barriers to meeting expectations that some young people face. It also defines our expectations for the strong relationships and mutual respect between individuals that permeate our schools.
High standards of behaviour are vital in ensuring that teachers can teach and children can learn. Having high expectations is also pivotal in ensuring that young people feel safe in school. Attention to small details such as uniform allow conversations to be focused upon learning.
Our Expectations for Learning policy in classrooms is progressive and fair. It aims to remind students for the need to focus on learning and ensures that they are rewarded when they do so. Likewise it ensures that students understand that negative behaviours, if repeated, will result in a sanction.
Our anonymous surveys indicate that the overwhelming number of students feel safer in our schools than they did previously. They report less disruption, calmer corridors and less bullying. They rightly believe that leaders in our schools care about them and want them to do well.
We require that teachers apply the classroom system consistently and fairly. There are, however, a very small minority of students for whom this system may not by itself engage them in learning and for these students we make reasonable adjustment and try alternative approaches. There may, for example, be issues related to SEND that rightly need adjustment to be made and significant intervention. There are also issues of mental health which will sometimes require a different approach as part of a wider Pastoral Support Plan.
This year the Trust has made significant investment to begin to introduce its Personalised Learning Centres at our schools. These facilities with trained staff will allow us work even more closely with young people, parents and outside agencies. We will put in place a bespoke plan tailored to each child with the ultimate aim of giving children the care they need and the ambition to keep children where they belong - in mainstream education. Where possible we will avoid the use of permanent exclusion.
This policy and its implementation will work in tandem with our STEPS system, our weekly inclusion meetings, vulnerable students register, Bridge Inclusion Centre and SEND provision map to take a holistic approach to supporting all young people in line with our vision of being Outcomes Focused and Child Centred.