Skip to 0 minutes and 0 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: It's really nice to welcome you, Tom, again.

Skip to 0 minutes and 3 secondsTOM BENNETT: Good to be back.

Skip to 0 minutes and 4 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: STEM Learning, Managing behaviour for learning, question and answer session. We are delighted to have you here and look forward to your insights and some really fantastic questions that we've got from our participants at the moment. We are going to be starting off with a question from Aniko and Bushra, which is really focusing on the different ways in which in the methodology you use when you're working with children with special educational needs. And Aniko particularly says, how does she handle a ADHD student and other students around the ability of the pupils, not being able to necessarily manage their behaviours very effectively due to special educational needs. How would you respond to those two questions?

Skip to 1 minute and 0 secondsTOM BENNETT: Yeah, and that's a big area, isn't it? I mean, one of the first things that needs to be said is that special educational needs covers a vast array of different circumstances and needs and problems and issues and challenges and complications. It's really important not just to lump them all in together and pretend that they've all got the same outcome or indeed the same effect. I mean, sometimes with the more complex and challenging needs, sometimes you need very, very tailored responses. What I would say is broadly this, is that classrooms in general are social spaces. They are a group dynamic. And there's multiple people operating in one space.

Skip to 1 minute and 36 secondsIn order for people to get along effectively and to flourish in an optimal way, there needs to be a very strong sense of consistency of expectations. And one of the things I always focus on are things like norms and routines in the classroom. Children need to know what the normal behaviour is, what good behaviour is. They need to have it explained to them. They need to have it scaffolded. And they need to have it supported, which means that some children, for example, will find it more difficult to achieve these norms than others. And that's OK, as long as the aspiration is that we're all going to try to meet these norms.

Skip to 2 minutes and 7 secondsNow, some children can't meet those norms for reasons which aren't their fault. An easy and obvious example would be a child with Tourette's struggling to control their tics, their physical and verbal tics. Now in those types of circumstances, you wouldn't expect a child like that to simply restrain themselves. I mean, that would be a ludicrous thing. So in those types of circumstances, you make an accommodation for the child, which is to say that we accept that this is the limits, perhaps, of your behaviour. And we will then change the environment to help you and assist you. So for example, with a child with Tourette's, what that might mean is we will accept that you will occasionally swear and blurt out.

Skip to 2 minutes and 49 secondsBut we won't respond to it. We won't react to it. You certainly won't get in trouble for it. And we'll agree to get along with each other on those grounds. A crucial part of the contract, though, with the class is that the class has to know that there's an exception being made. And accommodations are super important not just for equity and ethical reasons, but also to meet the needs of the student. But in those types of circumstances, in order not to simply explode the norms and routines of the classroom, the other students need to know that an accommodation is being made.

Skip to 3 minutes and 21 secondsNow, for explicit special educational needs like, for example, Tourette's or wheelchairs and so on, it's obvious and easy to see. And it's actually a very good thing to have a conversation with the rest of class and say, you know, little Ryan will occasionally blurt out and swear. It's a condition called Tourette's. Let's talk about what that means. We hope you understand it now. And that's why he doesn't get in trouble. But we do expect you not to swear at us because… And the fascinating thing I find about that kind of accommodation is that 99% of kids get it. And they totally understand. And they go, all right, fair enough.

Skip to 3 minutes and 53 secondsAnd they understand that it's OK for Ryan but not OK for them because Ryan's really struggling with that and he doesn’t have the ability to amend that. There's other issues where we make accommodations, but we also offer supportive interventions because we're trying to help children develop better habits or to develop the ways in which they can work with the special educational needs in a way which helps them aspire towards the classroom norms. So for example, if a child has something like ADHD, and they obviously have an enormous barrier to their behaviour. And it's not as easy for them to behave as with other children.

Skip to 4 minutes and 26 secondsAnd sometimes they also find themselves feeling the need to behave in a way which is not optimal for the classroom. But they find it very hard not to. In those types of circumstances, two things need to happen. First of all, the class still needs to know that an accommodation is being made to support the child because we accept that some people have more difficulties and challenges in their lives than others. And that's often a very good opportunity to talk about things like ADHD with the class and help them to develop a broader understanding of cognitive impairments, neurological atypicalities, mental health issues, and so on.

Skip to 5 minutes and 1 secondAt the same time, what we mustn't do, and this is where it gets a little bit trickier, is we must not simply condemn that student to the limits of their own behaviour and say, we don't think you can ever change. And we don't think there's anything you can do to amend your behaviour. Because very frequently, students with ADHD can develop techniques and strategies which helps them with their behaviour. And it isn't an understanding that they can just pull themselves together, but that there's things we can do, perhaps interventions outside the classroom, nurture work, therapeutic work, and so on, which helps them to develop better habits.

Skip to 5 minutes and 34 secondsSo on the understanding if you've got a child with ADHD in your class and it's being diagnosed-- I mean, it's crucial these things are diagnosed-- we mustn't play amateur psychologist and amateur psychiatrist ourselves. It's absolute crucial that you don't think I think this child's got ADHD. It must be referred to and ascertained before we make those types of decisions. And if a child does have clearly defined and ascribed ADHD, then in those types of circumstances, you discuss with the class the accommodations you're making with the behaviour. But also with the pupil, you discuss ways in which they can then try to improve their behaviour bit by bit.

Skip to 6 minutes and 12 secondsMany children with ADHD can, with practice, develop habits of responding to their ADHD impulses with strategies, which helps them to meet the classroom norms better than they could have done before. So it's a combination of accommodation but also working with the child to not say, this is what you're like and you'll be like this forever. And we don't expect anything more of you because you've got ADHD. Things can get better with children with ADHD. And many children with forms of ADHD can find themselves in circumstances where they can improve their behaviour over time with adults who scaffold and support that behaviour to get better. But what's important is we don't just say, oh, well, they've got ADHD.

Skip to 6 minutes and 54 secondsWhat can you expect? And then what we do is then we place a ceiling on their behaviour and say, you'll never get better. You'll never improve. That was a long answer for a short question.

Skip to 7 minutes and 3 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: No, but I think also it really helps answer Jonathan's question, really, which was I think that how can you as a teacher get a better understanding and handling of these sorts of young people. And actually, you've got to really ask the teacher with those children in your classroom, you've got to really find out about what their condition is, how it's going to impact upon your classes and the teaching of them, and work with the support that they have within the school.

Skip to 7 minutes and 31 secondsIn the same way that you would if you had a wheelchair user in your-- in my lab, I'd have to be able to accommodate how they are going to do practical work-- that with these two, with the special needs children, of all the varieties. You've got to be able to accommodate how they're going to manage within your classroom setting. And so that's part of your role as a teacher. I think, Jonathan, I think you need to go and find out, work with those professionals. And Jonathan says, how can I get a better understanding. I think it's upon your onus to know your class as well and to know the differences within them.

Skip to 8 minutes and 5 secondsAnd I think that's what you basically just stated.

Skip to 8 minutes and 9 secondsTOM BENNETT: I hope so. And also, one thing I would add to that is that when you run a room of students, you're responsible for all of their safety and also all of their flourishing, which means we have to take very seriously the needs of individual students who've got exceptional or extraordinary challenges and needs.

Skip to 8 minutes and 27 secondsAnd at the same time, and I don't think this is a paradox, but at the same time, we also have to consider that if the student's behaviour deteriorates to the point where either the safety or the emotional well-being or the educational benefit of the classroom has been eroded to high levels, then what we need to do is to have very safe removal techniques in place known to the student, known to the family, known to all the practitioners, and the class that it's getting a bit difficult just now. This student needs to go somewhere else to either calm down or to receive small group nurture work or to speak to a mentor or a counsellor or whatever.

Skip to 9 minutes and 8 secondsAnd that's normally for the good of all members of the class, not just the individual student. And a balance is struck because one of the things that typically new teachers sometimes struggle with is they feel like they've let themselves down and they've let everyone down if they ever to ask for a removal. A removal is sometimes the kindest and wisest thing to do if, for example, somebody's having a meltdown. And it doesn't have to be a physical lifting. I don't mean like that, but just simply saying to the student, it's time for you to go to a place where you can feel safe and calm down. And that's sometimes something which needs to happen, too.

Skip to 9 minutes and 39 secondsSo the well-being and the education well-being of children in the classroom also needs to be taken into count as well.

Skip to 9 minutes and 44 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: Yeah, great. thank you.

Skip to 9 minutes and 46 secondsTOM BENNETT: It's a balancing--

Skip to 9 minutes and 46 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: It is a balancing act. You're absolutely right. So we're moving on to some other questions that we've got. And Yulia and Luke have talked really about parental expectations. Yulia talks about parents wanting her to be more strict with their children and frighten them or make them work harder and not be too friendly.

Skip to 10 minutes and 15 secondsTOM BENNETT: Yeah.

Skip to 10 minutes and 16 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: That expectation is quite an interesting one because Luke and Vikki have got the alternative as just trying to get more disengaged parents involved. So that's another balancing act. Can you talk about Yulia first and say how would she respond to parents who say that she's not strict enough and she needs to be less friendly.

Skip to 10 minutes and 43 secondsTOM BENNETT: Well. That's a super interesting question because you can go in so many different directions with that. Number one is this, is that I have no idea of what Yulia’s style is, and I'm certainly not going to judge her. And I'm sure she's wonderful. So I'll talk more generally about this type of issue, which is sometimes, shall we say, parents deal with their children in very different ways to the way we deal with them in a classroom. And sometimes they expect more or sometimes less from us than they would do themselves. Frightening a child is never a good look.

Skip to 11 minutes and 16 secondsAnd it's never a good strategy because if you make a child feel threatened, then it's less likely that they're going to learn or engage with the lessons in a positive way. Now, I mean, certainly, some children, you could frighten them into the sense of compliance. You could frighten them into doing what you've asked them to do. But that's not how you help a child to flourish or how you nurture a child. Children need to feel safe and relaxed enough to learn but not so relaxed that they feel they don't have to do anything. There's an optimal level of stress. I mean, and we know this from everything we know about psychology that too much stress is suboptimal.

Skip to 11 minutes and 52 secondsAnd too little stress is suboptimal. And the children need to feel a little bit of pressure but not too much pressure. The relationship we're looking for between the classroom practitioner and the student is exactly as I've described-- a teacher to a student, an adult to a child. And the relationship shouldn't be the jailor to the jailed or the slave to the slaver. It shouldn't be as negative as that. Sometimes it is worth listening to parents if they recommend, for example, that to the new teachers they may find, for example, that their boundaries are too loose. We might find that their declared standards and norms and routines are too lax and too slack because children will take advantage of that, too.

Skip to 12 minutes and 35 secondsIf a child feels that the teacher is trying too hard to be their friend rather than their teacher or an adult, I mean, some children will love it and really respond to it. But some children will also go, oh, boy, it's Christmas here. We can do what we want. So again, a happy medium has to be struck. And the thing I recommend to the new members of staff but all members of staff is to try to think of your teaching persona as a persona. It's the teaching version of yourself. And what would that look like?

Skip to 13 minutes and 2 secondsAnd once we start to think about that, we can start to think about role models we've had in our own past and people we've remarked ourselves as being teachers. And normally, what that means is people who are quite assertive but still caring. They've got a mission in mind for us. They care about us. But they also care about our educational well-being, which means that sometimes, they won't just let us do as we please. Sometimes they'll push us a bit harder than we want to be pushed ourselves. But they'll do so in a very compassionate way. And it's something that sometimes takes a lot of people some time to acquire. Some people frequently think, well, I want them to like me.

Skip to 13 minutes and 35 secondsAn interesting thing is I think that being liked is a normal aspiration. But if you're trying too hard to be liked, you end up doing things which are contrary to the well-being of the children. So for example, you'll give them too many treats or there'll be too little educational value to the lesson or the content won't be harder for the benefit of the relationship. If you say to most children "What kind of teachers are the best teachers in school," they never say the one that lets you do anything. They always say the teacher that you knew where you stood with them. And sometimes, they were even strict. But they were the grown-up. And we respected them for that.

Skip to 14 minutes and 11 secondsAnd that's often even the very naughtiest children will say that too. In those types of circumstances we find that children know that the teacher's assertive and cares about them. That's crucial that they care about them. But they care enough about them to make sure that they work harder than they want to themselves. Then we frequently find the children like that teacher too. So there's a side benefit to it, which is that you get liked anyway. So if I can clarify for practicality sake, if a parent says, I need you to be more strict-- rather than frighten them, but only to be more strict-- it's probably a good reflection point to think why is this.

Skip to 14 minutes and 49 secondsIs it because my standards are too slack? Maybe they're right. Or maybe what they simply want me to do is massively discipline the child or be massively punitive. So you have to understand where the parents are coming from and ask yourself do I agree with that, are they right. And perhaps use that as a potential learning experience yourself and reflect upon how consistent we are in the classroom, how consistent our rewards and sanction systems are, how consistent we are relationally with them, how clear my instructions are, and so on. So it may be a useful learning opportunity. But in terms of frightening children, that's never a good look.

Skip to 15 minutes and 26 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: So the second one I was going to talk about was Luke was talking about he didn't think the parent meetings or five-minute parent meetings were enough contact with parents. And so, should he be gaining more contact with them through social media? How much time should you be committing to contacting parents? And then Vikki's also sort of talking about that-- you know how much time do you how much time to try and get parents to engage with the school if they're endorsing their children's poor behaviour and not engaging in school. So it's about how much time and effort should she be putting into that parental contact?

Skip to 16 minutes and 6 secondsTOM BENNETT: Great question. I think it's terrific that they're thinking about how you build up relationships with parents because parents are often the forgotten stakeholder in this circumstance. I mean, they spend most of their lives with their parents. And 99% of parents care far more about their children than we ever will because they are their children. And of course, 1% of parents might be quite toxic. But even 99%, a lot of parents will care about their children but sometimes display that love in a toxic way. So for example, saying things like you don't have to show up for detentions or don't listen to that teacher and so on in a misplaced way to try to curry favour with their children.

Skip to 16 minutes and 42 secondsSo not all parents are perfect. But then who is? When it comes to the amount of contact time, this is an interesting one. If you're the primary teacher and you've got a small class, you might very well have a lot more time to deal with the parents individually over the year. You might actually even develop quite a personal relationship, typically in the school gates at the start of the day, drop-offs and pickups and so on. If you're a secondary teacher-- if you teach a carousel subject like humanities or something, you might end up seeing 250 students a week. So you can still develop a good relationship with all your students.

Skip to 17 minutes and 18 secondsBut it's far, far harder to then commit that amount of time to try to develop an equivalent level of relationship with all of their parents. And there comes a point in which we need to consider the work-life balance and the law of unintended consequences and how much time is actually useful investing in developing these relationships. Sadly, we find that because time is finite and it's the one thing we're not making anymore of, we find that we tend to have to prioritise the face time that we give to parents. So it tends to be, perhaps understandably, the parents of children who need the most attention, who need the most focus, they need, perhaps, the most behaviour modification, or the most support.

Skip to 17 minutes and 57 secondsAnd I think that's just going to be a fact of life. And it's something which we will neither celebrate or denigrate. But we just recognise that that's the way it's going to be unless you get infinite amount of time. I would certainly recommend that we proactively target those parents. So if you've got any feedback, data or information perhaps from a previous school or previous nursery or early years, you may already know some students are going to need more support, some students with which you'll need to develop stronger bonds with the families.

Skip to 18 minutes and 24 secondsSo in which case, I would thoroughly recommend calling those families' parents long before you need to, in this context-- needing to as soon as you've heard about them so that you develop an emotional bank account with these parents so that when you do have to speak to them about something perhaps a bit more serious, there's already a pre-existing relationship to draw upon and to create a far healthier frame as to how the relationship's going to proceed, rather than making that first encounter with a parent-- your child's in trouble or your child's let me down or something like that, which can often provoke quite a negative reaction. Sp proactivity is massively important and will save you time in the future.

Skip to 19 minutes and 1 secondIt also means that when you do meet up with parents, you have to make every second count. So if you've got parents Meetings two or three times a year, or whatever your school prescribes, you need to make sure that you've already pre-scripted what you need to say to that parent in advance. In fact, if at all possible, try to supply them with some information in advance of the meeting, so the meeting can start from-- you can hit the ground running, which is often possible, maybe not individually, but through the school systems.

Skip to 19 minutes and 31 secondsThe school should have some kind of delegated informational system or communication system with the parents-- perhaps texting or some kind of email service like Tapestry or something like that. On that note, social media is a minefield when it comes to these types of circumstances. It's far, far better if you can go through official school channels-- for example, systems like Frog and Tapestry and so on, things that the school actually uses to communicate broadly with all parents at once and sometimes specifically with some parents.

Skip to 20 minutes and 3 secondsOtherwise, you'll find yourself as a teacher being bogged down in email after email after email, which can then sometimes, if the relationships deteriorates, can swerve down some very dark alleyways and pathways of you said this and then you said that. And that wasn't professional. And I disagree with that and referring back to your email six months previously and so on. Far healthier and safer if it can go through a school channel. And also, social media tends to become quite public. And social media tends to develop in ways which sometimes we don't agree with.

Skip to 20 minutes and 35 secondsI think many schools probably would wish that they didn't have a social media parental account simply because sometimes the parents who participate most ferociously on it are sometimes the most negative and challenging parents themselves. So there's a trade off to be had here. So I would certainly say make sure that your encounters with parents count. Make sure you phone them before you need to. Make sure when you do speak to them, you've got things ready to say to them and questions ready to ask them and information ready to give them, rather than simply having a general five-minute chat about how their evening's going and then launching into the nitty-gritty in the last 30 seconds of the encounter.

Skip to 21 minutes and 13 secondsMost parents meetings are quite unforgiving when it comes to timekeeping.

Skip to 21 minutes and 17 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: That's great. Thank you, Tom. That leads us on to a couple of questions that we've had around fairness in rewards. So Roxanne and Ruji and Janna all mention about how are you fair, how are you able to be consistent and fair when praising positive behaviour. And Roxanne makes the point that some students who need to be more tolerant of are rewarded more. So that the ones that just generally good are not as rewarded as often. So how do you maintain that fairness?

Skip to 22 minutes and 1 secondTOM BENNETT: Another great question and I think it goes to the heart of some of the bad practise we have when it comes to rewards. First of all, I believe in rewards, and I believe in sanctions. I think they are useful aspects of your behaviour management system. I don't think they should be the be all and end all of the system. I think they are an essential part of the system. And I think that's a point in the debate that frequently gets lost. Secondly, if you are going to use rewards, unless we're careful, they can be damaging to the child's well-being. And let me explain what I mean.

Skip to 22 minutes and 35 secondsIf you reward a child for performing an action which you want them to perform, the danger is that they then become habituated by that stimulus. The danger is that they then start to expect the reward for the behaviour, which means that if you don't provide that reward, they don't provide the behaviour, which is a form of conditioning that we wouldn't want to celebrate in a classroom. At the same time, we do acknowledge that people deserve rewards. When it comes to rewarding people, the word justice, what justice means is that people get what they deserve. So you have to ask yourselves what do they deserve. Now, this is a slightly more interesting question.

Skip to 23 minutes and 11 secondsWhen we use rewards, we have to ask ourselves why are we using rewards. What was it that they're recognising? And I would say that for newer teachers in particular but for any teacher it's important to recognise this distinction-- that some rewards are to encourage and motivate children to change their behaviour. And other rewards are to recognise consistently good behaviour. And there's a big difference between those two types of things because in the first instance, we have the circumstance that many people will be familiar with whereby we use rewards as a behaviour modification technique. OK, so then who gets the most rewards-- the people's behaviour that needs the most modification. OK, so who is that?

Skip to 23 minutes and 53 secondsThat tends to be the children that misbehave the most. So what do we do? We set them small targets and say if you do this-- if you bring a pen in or something-- I'll give you a lollipop, to use a blunt example. The problem is then that the children who always bring in their pens say where's my lollipop. You know, I brought in a pen today too. That's problem number one.

Skip to 24 minutes and 12 secondsProblem number two is the children who always bring their pens feel like they're not getting any recognition themselves for doing things which they consistently do all the time, which brings us to another point, which is that if you're going to use a reward as a behaviour modification technique, that's fine as long as we also recognise we need to reward children for consistently good behaviour. And that's two very different types of rewards. I would recommend, for example, that you might use-- if you have a school merit system where points have accrued and then they're treated in for some kind of external prize, that you make that for things that everybody in the class can try to do and achieve.

Skip to 24 minutes and 50 secondsAnd then if you have students whose behaviour you're trying to modify individually, you create an individual target and reward system for them. So it could be, for example, something which isn't necessarily quite so public, something which is to bring the equipment in for five days in a row. At a private meeting with the head of year at the end of the day, they'll be given a certificate or something like that rather than using the exact same merit system which everybody else uses because it is unfair to have some people on one track of that merit system and some people on another track.

Skip to 25 minutes and 22 secondsIt's just one of the dangers and difficulties of using things like a merit system or a point system where rewards are accrued. So individualise and personalise the rewards for children whose individual behaviour you're trying to modify. And create whole school behaviour recognition systems for things that everybody can achieve.

Skip to 25 minutes and 38 secondsNow, this brings us to one last point, which I promise you, this is my last point, which is when it comes to rewards, one of the ways in which we can avoid the difficulties of that type of system, this kind of enormous Argos catalogue reward system that we've just described, is to realise that the real rewards, the real incentive, the real motivator for just about everyone, unless they're a psychopath, is sincere targeted proportionate praise, a status reward. It's Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It's a sense of being valued and recognised by people, which means we can target that and make it proportionate and make it very individual.

Skip to 26 minutes and 23 secondsSo the child that never brings in their pens and then one day brings in their pens, you go up to that child and you say, thank you very much for bringing in the equipment today. I noticed that. You matter to me. But you don't say it in front of everybody because they'll feel stupid. And the child who brings in their pens every single day, you might say to them after three, four months, can you wait behind for a few minutes, please, at break time or whatever. Thanks for waiting behind. I just wanted to say I noticed that you're always on time. You always hand in your homework. And you always bring in your pens. Thank you very much for that.

Skip to 26 minutes and 55 secondsAnd they go away glowing too. You individualise it. And you personalise it. And what you don't do is try to embarrass them in front of each other. And that's where the judgement in relationships comes in because you have to know the children and what they're capable of and what they normally do. So the best form of reward is sincere targeted proportionate praise. And that's one of the ways in which we avoid the enormous traps we can fall into with the more formal merit-based systems.

Skip to 27 minutes and 20 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: Yeah, I think that's really interesting because that sort of moves on to Greg's question, which is about recognitions boards. And some students don't want to have that recognition. They don't want that to be shown in that overt way and object to their name being on these boards for doing good things. How do you handle that? I think it sort of links in with your personalised answer really.

Skip to 27 minutes and 52 secondsTOM BENNETT: It does. It does. And I'll tell you what's interesting about that is that I mean, you may have a classroom which is very anti-academic. You may have a classroom which is very anti-success, anti-achievement. You know, the type of classroom where if a child hands in homework, everyone else kisses their teeth and goes, oh, that's what you are or something like that. Now, we are where we are. But that's a very imperfect position. As a classroom teacher, what you want to do is create a climate or a culture in the classroom where actually success and achievement is recognised and valued, or effort is recognised and valued.

Skip to 28 minutes and 22 secondsSo in a sense, the teacher needs to kind of try to make the weather on this and to try to change that type of climate. So if you've got a student who, for instance, really hates being recognised publicly, well, first of all, we don't start off by just piling in and saying, well, your name's in lights on the wall. You recognise that and say, OK, I get that. You don't want to be placed too much in public. It embarrasses you for whatever reason. But we need to try to work towards you accepting a bit of public recognition, which means that you start to habituate them into it, which means that you may not put their name on the board.

Skip to 28 minutes and 57 secondsBut you might, for instance, praise them privately and then praise them slightly less privately a little bit more publicly occasionally-- perhaps mention their name a little bit in class just in general and see if they can start getting used to it. Because it's not healthy for a child never to accept gratitude or thanks in front of their peers. It's healthy for people to be able to say, thank you. That's great. I accept that recognition. If a child is so culturally enmeshed in this idea that they don't want to be thanked publicly, that's something that we need to help them with.

Skip to 29 minutes and 29 secondsSo we can work with them initially as long as the goal is eventually I want to see that name on the board. And I want you to be OK with that if you see what I mean. So I don't think we help them by saying, OK, I will never put your name on the board because all we're doing then is we're enabling the anxiety that they feel about being good and so on. And a lot of children have got big self-esteem issues. A lot of children don't want any attention to be drawn to themselves. And that's fine. But we need to teach them to be able to handle a little bit of attention.

Skip to 29 minutes and 56 secondsOtherwise, they'll live hermit-like existences where they constantly feel themselves to be worthless, which is something we can't support.

Skip to 30 minutes and 5 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: All right, thank you. So there's a very interesting question that we've not had before from Karen. One of the activities on the course is a fruit of the Loom example, which is basically where a teacher seeks out students wearing sweatshirts with a tiny, tiny logo on them instead of a plain black one. And they become a bit of a laughing stock of the school for their relentless pursuit of consistency amongst that. And where do we draw the line for this? How do you balance this relentless consistency and a pointless pursuit is what Karen's question relates to.

Skip to 30 minutes and 49 secondsTOM BENNETT: That's an interesting question. And it's probably no surprise that it centres around a uniform.

Skip to 30 minutes and 56 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: Yeah.

Skip to 30 minutes and 57 secondsTOM BENNETT: Because uniform is one of these eternal bugbears or chimaera of educational debate. People in other countries look at the UK with absolute puzzlement as to why we're so obsessed with the uniform. Now, I'm not married to the idea of uniform nor am I militantly against uniforms. I think uniforms can be used as a really useful unifier. I think they can be used as a really good way of kind of codifying the expression of what the group identity is. I think it'd be a really useful way of teaching children about pride in their appearance.

Skip to 31 minutes and 29 secondsIt can be a really useful way to combat the arms race of designer fashions and so on that children-- and I think there are lots of good reasons for uniforms. I also think that what uniforms can achieve can be achieved in other ways too. And I'm happy to support schools in either way. If you're going to have a code of anything, let alone a uniform code, but if you're going to have a code of conduct, a code of expectation, then you have to have that code of expectation, which means if you say something like no mobile phones in the classroom, then everybody needs to do it. Otherwise, it's not code.

Skip to 32 minutes and 4 secondsAnd everybody should work towards it and support one another for it, which isn't to suggest every teacher should slavishly copy every other teacher in everything. But what it does suggest-- if the school has a red line on something, if the school has a non-negotiable, then that non-negotiable has to be followed.

Skip to 32 minutes and 21 secondsExceptions can be made. But exceptions must be exceptional. So a child might have a mobile phone, as for example as part of their heart monitor or something like that. There's always an exception to a rule. So going back to uniforms, if you've got a uniform code and the uniform code says black t-shirts, no logos and the teacher mentions to children that they shouldn't be wearing things with logos, then I can't really blame that teacher if they're just doing what the school's asked them to do. I mean, we talk about an obsessive adherence to rules.

Skip to 32 minutes and 55 secondsI mean, something like not having a logo on your t-shirt seems fairly-- I wouldn't suggest that was an obsessive thing to try to enforce if that's what the school said because the teachers that don't do it are making it harder for that teacher to do it and while they may be laughing at them for doing it. What they're basically saying is that code doesn't apply to me. And while you might laugh at uniform codes, if it was something like no mobile phones or no knives or whatever, whatever the code is, if there's a code and some people don't do it, it means it's not normal routine anymore, which means it's harder for everyone else to do it.

Skip to 33 minutes and 27 secondsSo I've got some sympathy for the teacher who's pursuing what they've been asked to do. Having said that, if the school policy is black t-shirt. And it doesn't mention anything about logos or small logos or whatever, then perhaps that may be viewed as somewhat obsessive. But the school really needs to clarify this. Otherwise, what we've got here is a tension between what the schools are asking people to do and what the teachers are trying to enforce. So I think that's where the tension lies, not the one teacher's particularly obsessive. Because of course, that teacher may have come from a school where the uniform code was scrupulously applied or meticulously applied.

Skip to 34 minutes and 7 secondsAnd they've just come to a school thinking, well, that's perfectly normal. That's what I should be doing. So I mean, I've got some sympathy for both sides of the argument here. But oddly enough or perhaps not oddly enough, I've got a lot of sympathy for the person who is pursuing what they've been asked to do.

Skip to 34 minutes and 19 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: And I think that some schools are responding to that sort of blurring of the uniform lines in such a way as that they will prescribe a particular style of trouser or shoe. And these are the ones that we have.

Skip to 34 minutes and 34 secondsTOM BENNETT: Yeah.

Skip to 34 minutes and 35 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: Because they have these issues with some people, young people who always push the boundaries in terms of uniform-- what won't they. And so you have to get the balance right there.

Skip to 34 minutes and 46 secondsTOM BENNETT: Well, if I could just pick that point up, Becca, that's a great point you made there. I mean, some schools get really detailed about the type of uniform. And again, I kind of understand why, though. Because let's just say for your sixth form that there's no formal uniform. But you must come in smart. You must come in smart casual. And that sounds great. We're empowering them. We're allowing them to become adults. But then inevitably what happens is that some of the guys will come in in clothes they've been wearing for four days. Or some of the girls will come in in hot pants or bras tops. And you're kind of thinking, well, where do we draw the line?

Skip to 35 minutes and 28 secondsAnd then you do start having to clarify things because people will push it right up to the boundaries. So you may then have to stipulate something about hygiene. You might have to stipulate something about modesty or whatever, which is not-- I never wanted to go down that path. But you end up going down that path. And if you say something like you have to wear black shoes, I think kids start getting into gang wars about the types of trainers they've got. That's an issue.

Skip to 35 minutes and 51 secondsBut if you say something like hair must be short and then kids start coming to school wearing track lines which may be a gang sign or something like that, that's an issue so that you do start having to stipulate the types of hairstyle you have. So to the armchair observer, it might seem pathetic that school's stipulate these types of things. But very frequently, they're done for very specific reasons. So I just say I've got a lot of sympathy for schools that enforce a uniform code. Because even in countries that don't have formal uniforms, they've still got a uniform code. It might not be a gingham skirt or a tartan tie or something like that.

Skip to 36 minutes and 27 secondsBut they have a code that if students go beyond they would do something about. It's just that in some cultures, students would typically not go beyond those boundaries, so complex issue.

Skip to 36 minutes and 37 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: Very complex issue, yes. So we're moving on to a couple of questions that we've got back from Mary who's a novice teacher working with young learners. They don't listen. They don't accept consequences. They do not do the extra homework. So we've got an issue about the consequences of the poor behaviour. They're not actually doing that. And we've also got Ruji who's got how do you deal with inappropriate behaviour if the student doesn't want to leave the classroom. So it's about you're trying to enforce consequences but not being able to manage the students sufficiently for those consequences to have any impact. What advice would you give Mary and Ruji?

Skip to 37 minutes and 20 secondsTOM BENNETT: Yeah, again, that's a really typical question. I mean, if a student isn't leaving the classroom, if a student refuses to leave the classroom, there's only so much you can do yourself. You don't have magic powers. I mean, oddly enough, the law does allow you, and I'm certainly not advising this, the law does allow you to use reasonable force to enforce classroom behaviour. And if, for example, a student was persistently disrupting a lesson and wouldn't leave the classroom, there is potential within the law for you to actually escort them out yourself.

Skip to 37 minutes and 57 secondsI would never recommend that, simply because the law is too grey because just reasonable force and so on, it's not robust or secure enough a foundation for any teacher to rely upon. And also, I wouldn't want teachers to feel they had to rely on force to enforce their classrooms. So given that you can't really make them leave, the best thing you can do is, first of all, make sure you've got an effective removal technique, a removal strategy in place, which enlists somebody else. And all schools should have a removal strategy system in place. If a student refuses to leave the classroom, you then call somebody. And that person then comes along.

Skip to 38 minutes and 34 secondsNow, only in the most disruptive of cases will a student completely refuse to leave the classroom no matter who comes along, although I have seen that happen. And it's not pleasant. So enlist somebody else for a start. And there's no shame in that whatsoever. But you must have a system in place, like a student goes to get somebody. There's a button on your SIM system or whatever. You've got a method of sending a note to the office. So that needs to be done in advance of that happening because you know it will happen occasionally.

Skip to 39 minutes and 2 secondsSecond of all, if students don't turn up for consequences and so on, it's a mistake to feel that consequences are the only way in which we run behavioural systems. One of the things I talk about a lot, and I'll briefly and simply summarise it here, is that in order for us to get students to behave, we can react to the misbehaviour. But we could also be proactive with the behaviour.

Skip to 39 minutes and 23 secondsBy being proactive, I mean we can teach them the behaviour we want them to do, which we need to be utterly clear about it, and not just telling them, teaching them, which means taking time to patiently unpack and explain what entry routines look like, departure routines look like, what good conduct within a lesson looks like, rather than just saying I want you to behave. Because many children have got a very vague idea as to what behaving means in your classroom. So the proactive phase is incredibly important, which means the students have something towards which they can adhere. Consequences are then used to reinforce that teaching.

Skip to 39 minutes and 58 secondsSo if children fail to meet the standards which you've taught them to do, then you can, for example, sanction or reward or re-explain or reteach, or have a pastoral meeting or call parents or whatever. And for teachers who are just struggling for students to adhere to consequences, what we sometimes see is that they're primarily relying on consequences as a way of modifying behaviour. And first of all, I would ask them to think how much am I teaching the behaviour I want them to do in the first place. Are they only ever hearing about behaviour when they fail to meet it and I'm getting them in trouble? So do they have this incredibly negative understanding of what behaviour means.

Skip to 40 minutes and 36 secondsI only hear about you when you're getting on my back to get me in trouble. This is why say things like you're always picking on me because to them, their experience of interacting with the teacher is always negative. I'm always in the wrong. I'm always in the wrong, even if they are, which is frequently. No, in those circumstances, if a child fails to, for example, listen to a consequence, couple of things. Number one, your consequence system should have an escalating tariff.

Skip to 41 minutes and 3 secondsSo if they go from a 15 minute detention, they go up to a 30 minute detention or they lose their break time to they lose their golden time to a parent gets called in, their name goes up and down a board-- whatever. There's lots of different consequences. So escalate the consequence in the first instance. At the same time, involve somebody else. Involved a line manager because the school behaviour policy should involve something along the lines of persistent misbehaviour means other people getting involved. Parents should probably be called, for example.

Skip to 41 minutes and 32 secondsIf the behaviour still persists even when the tariff has been escalated, then repeat the consequences because some children just need to see that you're never going to give up with the consequences. If they muck about lessons, they will always get, for example, a detention or lose golden time and so on. So don't just give up too quickly. Otherwise, the children will think that was easy. I managed that. I punched through to the other side. I saw daylight. But if the behaviour still persists once you've, A, escalated and, B, persisted, then you need to have something else happening as well. There might be something underlying the behaviour.

Skip to 42 minutes and 2 secondsThe child might need some pastor work or maybe some work with a mentor or maybe just needs to be referred to somebody a bit more serious in the school, somebody who can then work with the pupil and work with the people in a broader sense, perhaps a— Perhaps the child needs to be put onto some kind of report or individual educational behavioural plan. So persistence, amplification, enlisting other people, but never giving up, never simply thinking, oh, well, it didn't work twice. I'll stop now. I used to frequently get people who were new teachers. And they would contact me in September and say-- you know, a pupil ran about the classroom what should I do.

Skip to 42 minutes and 39 secondsAnd I would say something like, well, apply your in room consequence system. Apply your in school consequence system. And they would email me two weeks later to say it's still not working. And I would say they need to see that you're not going to give up. And I would argue that about 90% of misbehaviour in classrooms can be modified through proactive teaching of those behaviours and then a little bit of reactive queuing-- sanctions, rewards, dismissing them back to the table. Because most children will respond to that eventually. It may take a few months, certainly, to develop the habits you're expecting.

Skip to 43 minutes and 9 secondsBut for children with more complex, challenging needs, that's where perhaps you may need to enlist other people to assist you with it. So a really simple process, but make sure you get other people involved.

Skip to 43 minutes and 18 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: I think that's really key, especially for novice teachers to not feel that you're being judged by not getting other people involved.

Skip to 43 minutes and 27 secondsTOM BENNETT: Absolutely.

Skip to 43 minutes and 29 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: Yeah, that we're all in it together. And some people respond differently to different teachers. So I think using the support around you is really, really important. And that also answers the question of Greg. And Greg was basically talking about what happens if you've had restorative conversations, but your behaviour doesn't change. They responded very well to that restorative conversation. But they come back and behave in an inappropriate way again. And I think exactly the same advice for Greg would be you've got to be persistent with that and escalate to support from other people if it doesn't improve, is my feeling there.

Skip to 44 minutes and 12 secondsTOM BENNETT: Yeah, and also with that, when it comes to restorative practises, I think there's a lot of misunderstanding of restorative practises. Some people use restorative practises instead of all the other systems. And I think that this is a big mistake. I think restorative practise are much misunderstood and much misused. I think they're an important part of a behavioural system. And I always stress this. It's a part of a behavioural system. And that behavioural system also needs to include routines, norms, as well as reactive queuing, sanctions, and rewards, and restorative practises and a million other things like mentoring chats and pastor meetings and nurture groups and small group work and so on.

Skip to 44 minutes and 52 secondsThe idea that all behaviour can be modified simply by talking to the people when they're calm and getting them to admit they were wrong and think about what they'll do next time is utopian. The -— children are massively impulsive. I mean, we all are to some extent. But children are. And we know that adolescents are particularly impulsive. They think very much in the moment. And they often regret what they've done, particularly when they're in a meeting with somebody with whom they have a good relationship. They might think, oh, god, I wish I hadn't done that. But then when the moment comes again, they do it again because they're just as impulsive.

Skip to 45 minutes and 25 secondsAnd also, we know that peer influence is massive, particularly in the teenage years. So if you are with a group of people who are egging you on or you think you're going to get some kind of status reward by misbehaving, the teacher's not there and you're impulsive, that's a very, very difficult cocktail to resist. So we're thinking, so how do they modify the behaviour? Well, it might not just be by getting them to admit they did something wrong three hours later. It might be by acknowledging that, A, some children will continually repeat that behaviour. And B, some children don't mean what they say.

Skip to 45 minutes and 57 secondsI mean, children are very good at saying what you want to hear in a restorative meeting, which is why I think restorative meetings can never replace all these other forms of behaviour modification, which means we come back to, for example, good old sanction systems sometimes. If a child sits in restorative chat and says, yes, I know what I did wrong. And I can see the impact it had. And I can see the impact it had on myself, and then go and do it again, well, then maybe they need a good old detention. Maybe they need their parents to get called in.

Skip to 46 minutes and 25 secondsMaybe they need to be scraping chewing gum off a table for half an hour-- whatever your sanction system is. And maybe they need to be doing that. And maybe it needs to be escalated. Maybe they need to be removed from the classroom occasionally. Maybe it needs to lead to half a day in a removal room or something like that, supervised by an adult, so they realise that their behaviour is serious. Because the danger of just using things like a restorative chat is that the child doesn't see their behaviour as particularly important. They don't see that there's any particularly unpleasant consequences for behaving that way. All they get is a nice chat with an adult afterwards.

Skip to 46 minutes and 57 secondsAnd sadly, what you can do then is you can actually condition children into thinking that misbehaving isn't that bad at all. So weirdly enough you start to normalise and condition them to believe that the behaviour's OK. So while I think that restorative processes are a very important part of it, we sometimes have to ask ourselves, what is it we're trying to restore. Another good example of when restorative practise goes wrong is when, for example, you've got a child who's being bullied by another child. And you say let's have a restorative chat. But there's no relationship to restore because they were never friends in the first place. So again, it's a misapplication of what is potentially a good technique.

Skip to 47 minutes and 30 secondsBut if you're using a hammer to do something that a screwdriver is required to do, then you're using the wrong tool. And sometimes restorative practise are the wrong tool.

Skip to 47 minutes and 38 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: Good point. Thank you for that. It's interesting we sort of got talking about school culture quite a lot. And I've got a couple of very interesting questions about school culture. And we've got one from Peter, which is how does a teacher employ the principles advised in the course in a school that has an oppressive, authoritarian behaviour management regime? I liked that question.

Skip to 48 minutes and 6 secondsTOM BENNETT: It's interesting because it's really hard for me to know what the school is actually like because some people's view of oppression and authoritarianism is very different from other people's view of oppression and authoritarianism.

Skip to 48 minutes and 20 secondsIt's weird because sometimes when I think of some of the strictest schools I've ever been to, and I must've been to about 400 schools now in my Gandalf-like career, strutting up and down the schools of England and abroad, and something about stricter schools, I sometimes think of some really, really effective PRUs, pupil referral units, alternative provision for children with the biggest challenges. And in those circumstances, there's enormous amounts of you might say strictness and discipline. But at the same time, there's very, very high levels of compassion. These are places with masses of therapeutic interventions and one-to-one mentoring and small group nurture work and so on.

Skip to 48 minutes and 57 secondsAnd at the same time, these are often places where there's very, very strict stipulations about behaviour and consequences to behaviour. Sometimes these places have got padded rooms for children who start to have meltdowns. I mean, these are not, shall we say, soft places. But at the same time, they can be very, very positive and approachable. And sometimes what some people think is an oppressive system to me is simply a school with very clear outlines of what the behaviour is like. And those types of schools can often be the safest place where no bullying occurs, where children feel safe, and where they're treated with dignity. So alarm bells start to flash when I hear the school is oppressive.

Skip to 49 minutes and 39 secondsAnd oppressive to me would be unnecessarily punitive or unnecessarily strict. But then that's a very subjective statement to make.

Skip to 49 minutes and 46 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: Absolutely.

Skip to 49 minutes and 47 secondsTOM BENNETT: In a circumstance like that, what I recommend a student to do, and I know this is a hard thing to recommend, but it's the truth, is to find a school with an ethos which is more in keeping with the type of systems that you want to work with. Because I know this. You will never be happy working in a school which has got a massively different ethos or value system to what you believe in. And the second thing I would say is maybe watch and listen to the school carefully. And try to work out why they're doing what it is they're doing. Maybe they've got a point. Or maybe they are oppressive and authoritarian. Who knows? Who knows?

Skip to 50 minutes and 24 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: Yeah, that's a really good-- because we've got the converse of that. I thought your answer around- you've got to fit to the culture of the school that you work within is really important. And Elisavet, her main question is that she's got a converse situation where she's got the behaviour management for her students but hasn't got the support of her department, school, or administration to back her up. It's not a supportive environment. It might be that there isn't a very clear behaviour management system or expectations. And so I think this is probably a similar response to for Peter.

Skip to 51 minutes and 11 secondsTOM BENNETT: It is. And you know, to be honest, the second comment, the comment you just made there, is in my experience are far more common for teachers to tell me.

Skip to 51 minutes and 20 secondsTOM BENNETT: I mean, I remember I used to be the agony uncle for the TES behaviour column online, so thousands of questions. And one of the most common questions, probably the second most common question genuinely was, I'm trying to enforce behaviour systems in my classroom. I'm a new teacher. And the school's not backing me up. Or they don't show up for meetings. Or they just let the kids off when I pass them on or up the system. So I think that's probably far more frequent. And very rarely do I hear people say this school is too strict for me. So I don't know. Maybe that's a sign of the times.

Skip to 51 minutes and 56 secondsMaybe some thing's are cutting through. Who knows? But I guess I would repeat one point, which is that if the school's value system is radically different to your own, you'll never be happy. So by all means, make the best of it. And try to learn from the school. See what you can learn from it. But it may be best in your own best interest and your own mental health interest to go work somewhere which deals with children the way you would like them to be dealt with. Secondly, I think that it's very common for school behavioural systems to be imperfect if I could be as bold as to say something like that. I think it's very common.

Skip to 52 minutes and 36 secondsI think that there's very little behaviour management training for teachers through ITT or teacher prep. There's some. And some of it's good. But a lot of it's not. And if you're a school leader, there are very, very few pathways to learn good behavioural structural systems from a whole school perspective. And so I say I've got quite some sympathy for school leaders. Very frequently, they don't know how to set up a whole school behaviour system because nobody's ever shown them. And again, there are some great teachers. And there's some great school leaders that do this wonderfully. So in those types of systems, what we frequently see is teachers not getting enough support.

Skip to 53 minutes and 13 secondsAre school leaders expecting teachers to do all the behaviour management for them and so on. Whereas the ideal situation is where everybody knows what their role is. And the teachers do what teachers should do. And then the school leaders support what the teachers do and do what they should do. And then everybody meshes beautifully. But I very frequently see the situation where sometimes school leaders think it's all the classroom teachers' responsibility. And sometimes the classroom teacher thinks it's all the school leaders' responsibility. So both of these are very, very dysfunctional systems. And so as I say, try to find a place that's value aligned.

Skip to 53 minutes and 43 secondsAnd if the school doesn't back you up when you are trying to run the behaviour policy that they themselves have announced, if you're looking at the school behaviour policy and you're following it to the letter and the school isn't backing you up, then they probably don't deserve to have you because they're dysfunctional. And again, it's a hard thing to do because I know that you can't just change schools like that. But it certainly should be something which is, towards which we aspire. And I think schools need to sharpen up their act and ask themselves is my behaviour policy just something that sits in the computer and looks pretty.

Skip to 54 minutes and 13 secondsOr is our behaviour policy something that we live and breathe and teach people and use to support people.

Skip to 54 minutes and 19 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: I think that's really interesting and sort of reflects the new Ofsted framework at the moment as well in terms of that behaviour judgement being really key. I think one final question from me is to help those school leaders, help I suppose some teachers and leaders know more about behaviour management techniques. And this is from Alma who was wanting to talk about more recent research on behaviour management. And he mentions the Elton Report. Now, the Elton Report was from 1989. So it's quite, it’s well been superseded. And I certainly know that your work, Tom, for the DFE, which we'll post the link to, is more recent for that.

Skip to 55 minutes and 4 secondsBut is there any other research that you could refer to for that behaviour management that people might go to?

Skip to 55 minutes and 15 secondsTOM BENNETT: Yes, there's a couple of things I would recommend. I'm going to be slightly vain here. And the first one is something I've composed myself-- I can only apologise-- which is the two-page summary for the Early Careers Framework, which was put out just before, three or four days ago. But Early Careers Framework is on the DFE website. And attached to that there's an appendix of a recommendation of what early career teachers need to know in terms of running classrooms. And in the Early Careers Framework, there's links to some of the research behind that. But essentially, it's a focus on routines, norms, proactive behaviour management, and then a reactive style, and then a few bullet-pointed tips.

Skip to 55 minutes and 57 secondsSo that's a very short read. And it's a very easy thing to summarise and pass around for new teachers. And secondly, a wonderful piece of work from the Ambition Institute, which I noticed only yesterday. And it's been written by Harry Fletcher Woods. And if we could get a link for that, that would be great. And essentially, it's how to teach the science of teaching, what we know from cognitive psychology, and what's useful for teachers to know, but also what's useful for teacher trainers to know. And a lot of that is very applicable to the type of behaviour management processes that I also advocate.

Skip to 56 minutes and 29 secondsSo it's things like normative messaging and proactive queuing and so on in terms of helping children learn. Because the way in which children learn academic or propositional content or skills based content is very similar, I think, in the ways in which we teach children behaviour. One of the things I keep coming back to is that we don't just tell children to behave. That's about as useful as telling somebody not to smoke.

Skip to 56 minutes and 53 secondsMost people have got a vague idea that you don't put cigarettes in your mouth. And that's how you don't get lung cancer from it. But teaching somebody how not to smoke and the dangers of smoking and what to do if you feel like a cigarette and what to do if somebody offers you a cigarette, that's far more valuable behavioural training, behaviour modification, than simply telling them. And when it comes to students behaving in classrooms, we need to really be looking at how is it that people learn anything and think about that and then apply it to our behavioural instruction.

Skip to 57 minutes and 22 secondsSo when you meet children for the first time, ask yourself, how do I teach them the habits that will help them to flourish as students. And for that, we can go back to everything we know about teaching and learning in general. So those are my two top tips.

Skip to 57 minutes and 34 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: Yeah, and I think the other thing that I would actually go for as well is that I know that you mentioned earlier-- we discussed earlier-- that Ofsted has used this as a focus. And they have also published-- Amanda Spielman has written about the research behind managing behaviour and behaviour judgement in the new Ofsted framework. So I've got the link for--

Skip to 57 minutes and 57 secondsTOM BENNETT: Oh, I'll also recommend that, not only because I helped contribute to it, so yes, I agree.

Skip to 58 minutes and 2 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: [LAUGHTER] And finally, I know the Education Endowment Foundation teacher and learning toolkit have got some things around about behaviour interventions. And it's not really about behaviour management in the classroom. It's about behaviour interventions. That some of our people on our course might find useful as well.

Skip to 58 minutes and 24 secondsTOM BENNETT: I think that's a useful document to read. I agree.

Skip to 58 minutes and 26 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: So just as a final question from Xiao. He's obviously in a situation where there's been a challenging or turbulent situation around him and that students in his care are influenced by these outside challenges. I think for Xiao, it's really difficult when teachers are in a situation where they have the safe place for young people to go. There's turbulence for outside of the school or within their families. It's always a real challenge for teachers, where they are the sanctuary for young people. And we need to treat those young people who are having those challenges with compassion and respect and allow them to express themselves either publicly or privately to understand the challenges that they're finding outside of the school.

Skip to 59 minutes and 29 secondsI think that you know your young people the best. And so therefore, you will be able to identify which ones of those need your support the most. And it's worthwhile being able to identify those. And this will change. With turbulent times outside of a school, it will affect young people in different ways. And so it's being very aware of the challenges that they're having and also making sure that they have got confidence that you are able to be approached, to be spoken to, and support them by being open, honest, and as positive as you possibly can be in those challenging circumstances. So I would say that would be my advice to Xiao in his situation.

Skip to 60 minutes and 15 secondsSo yeah, I think that's all of our questions for today, Tom. Thank you so much.

Skip to 60 minutes and 19 secondsTOM BENNETT: So fast, too fast.

Skip to 60 minutes and 22 secondsBECCA KNOWLES: [CHUCKLING] --so much for contributing again to our question and answer session.

Skip to 60 minutes and 27 secondsTOM BENNETT: It's always a pleasure doing this. I really, really enjoy it. So once again, a great pleasure. And I hope it's useful to some of your participants. Thank you very much.

Q&A session

The Q&A sessions on courses from the National STEM Learning Centre provide you with the opportunity to ask more about the course content and issues from your own classroom practice.

Thank you for all your questions and contributions throughout the course. We recorded our second Q&A for this course on 6 November 2019.

We are delighted that Tom Bennett, independent behaviour adviser to the UK Department for Education and co-founder of ResearchEd, has contributed to our course Q&A again.


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Managing Behaviour for Learning

National STEM Learning Centre