“Ah! I don’t agree with my school’s Behaviour Policy”

by | Nov 8, 2021 | Behaviour, Classroom Practice, Leadership | 0 comments


The last chapter in my book is the troubleshooting chapter. In that I answer, in a quick-fire style, some of the most common troubles we have around Behaviour in our schools.

This one is a tricky one.

Below are my 4 top tips on what you can do in this situation. For more detail and to find the answers to all of your other Behaviour troubles, get your own copy of “Miss, I don’t give a sh*t” Engaging with Challenging Behaviour in Schools here.

1. Breathe. You have options

When we feel stuck, it is easy to get lost in the drama and/or discomfort of the situation – and find increasingly more pieces of evidence to prove how awful the situation is:


Take some time to do what makes you feel good.

There will be a solution one way or another, you being in the best state you can be will help – whatever action you decided to do.

2. Wiggle

In some situations it is possible to do the wiggle. My PGCE tutor taught me, that as long as you tick the boxes no one asks too many questions. So if standing on the desks, shirts untucked and setting blazers alight works in your classroom to improve learning (and everyone is safe) then do it– with the door shut, and perhaps not so much on an observation days.

Remember, Behaviour Polices are usually written to support and improve behaviour. They are generic, and they won’t fit everyone. But if you and your pupils complete all the tasks required – homework, data, calm in the corridors – whatever it is, then it is possible to have some wiggle room in your practice.

The caveat – this approach is if things are working. If you don’t agree with your Behaviour Policy and Behaviour is a little fruity in your classroom, then this maverick approach may well backfire, and you’ll end up in lots of meetings and observations explaining yourself…

3. Get involved

The best Behaviour Policies are living documents – get involved it it’s evolution. Talk to the person responsible for behaviour, air your concerns, join focus groups, research and share others schools’ practice – get the pupils involved!

You are much more likely to get across your opinions and experiences if you are part of the solution.

4. Consider other settings

Not every school is for everyone. I have known colleagues be on the verge of quitting teaching altogether…and then give it once last try in another setting and find they have an entire new career ahead of them… (and yes, I am biased about mainstream teachers finding the joys in PRUs and Special Schools). Schools work in different ways, they are a micro-community, a small village, a culture. It may be that you’re not in the one for you.

As a first step, set up chances to visit other schools to find out what alternatives there are for you. Go to interviews (which will be an easier way to get the time off!) with the focus of exploring what else is out there.

Life is too short for you to be stuck and miserable. If teaching is the thing that makes your heart sing, focus on that and there will be the right setting for you somewhere…if not, do as my colleague Kate McAllister did, and set up your own school! Take a look at The Hive School in the Dominican Republic, where they’re championing fresh approaches to learning based around the sustainability goals…they’re looking for staff too….;)


Read the book, want more ongoing support around Behaviour? Join the “We give a sh*t” Behaviour Membership here

Engage with challenging behaviour in your school and support staff effectively;

For Teaching

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How to support teachers to manage challenging behaviour.


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