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Improving Behaviour Issues - Funding To Address Problems At The Root

30th November 2023

Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth has announced £900,000 in new funding for staff to tackle poor behaviour and attendance in schools.

The funding will be provided directly to local authorities to train support staff to respond to new challenges and develop behaviour management strategies in schools post COVID.

It comes as part of a multi-year plan that is being developed in conjunction with key stakeholders and will set out actions at national, local and school level to improve behaviour and support better relationships.

Actions include:

the new Interim Chief Inspector being tasked with ensuring HMI inspections are accurately recording behaviour to ensure any issues are tackled as soon as possible

a call for more accurate and robust recording of any incidents of poor behaviour in schools

a dedicated approach to responding to issues regarding misogyny

Ms Gilruth said, "It is important we keep the big picture in mind, with research published yesterday showing staff reporting generally good behaviour amongst pupils. However, the status quo is not an option and the plan I am setting out today will provide the support necessary to help tackle these problems at the root.

"I am absolutely clear that our schools should be safe and consistent learning environments for all. No teacher, or support assistant should face violence or abusive behaviour at work. We cannot suggest that the pandemic has not exacerbated inequity and nor must we blame it for these challenges. Schools, equally, can't do this all alone; they need help. We have to enact a national plan which better supports our teachers and support staff in the workplace; recognising the role of Local Government as employer.

"And that plan has to better protect the learning outcomes for our young people - the vast majority of whom are well behaved. That is the prize that better behaviour in our schools can deliver - and I look forward to working with our partners to deliver just that."

Headteachers, teaching unions, local authorities, parents, carers and children and young people will help inform the national action plan to improve behaviour and support better relationships in schools.

The plan will be developed in the coming weeks and published in the new year.

Behaviour and relationships in schools

This looks like less than a sticking plaster. 32 local authorities to share £900,000 may provide less than £150 per school. With all the cuts to school budgets head teachers may have preferred to have an increase in that and more work to increase the availability of supply teachers.


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