At the end of 2019 I had a double wammy of exciting news

25th April 2020 I have been invited to speak at my first TEDx event!

“Miss, I don’t give a sh*t” – See the child, not the behaviour

TEDx Norwich is the only TEDxED (Education) event in Europe and one of the biggest TEDx events in the UK!
To get a list of the speakers and to book your tickets take a look here – https://www.tedxnorwiched.com/

In addition, just before Christmas I secured a contract with Sage & Corwin Publishers.

So January this year has seen me begin the process of birthing my first book…

“Miss, I don’t give a sh*t” – A guide to supporting pupils with challenging behaviour

Here’s an overview

“Miss, I don’t give a sh*t.”

“I cannot be arsed.”

“Sir, you can just f*ck off,”

“Leave me alone…”

…and various other sweet refrains can be heard regularly up and down the country from pupils who are struggling to conform to our mainstream way of education. When you are the day-to-day teacher, teaching assistant, pastoral staff, senior leadership team – it is easy to be worn down or become numb to this kind of rhetoric – and its associated behaviours.

These pupils are communicating to us a resounding “No!” A no to the moment, to the work, to the lesson, to a peer, to the teacher, to education – or for some it’s a much bigger picture; they are also saying no to mental health issues, learning difficulties, difficult home lives, past or current trauma, abuse or neglect. Most concerningly, some are saying no to themselves – the outward aggression is a façade masking an inner no: a self-loathing, self-frustration, self-anger and fear.

What are we doing for them?

  • 35 pupils per day are being excluded from mainstream schools.
  • It is our most vulnerable pupils who get excluded; they are twice as likely to be in care, four times more likely to have grown up in poverty, seven times more likely to have a special educational need and 10 times more likely to suffer recognised mental health problems.
  • Once a pupil is excluded they cost society £370, 000 due to poorer outcomes.
  • Once a pupil is put into Alternative Provision (AP) or a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) they are less likely to be taught by qualified, consistent staff and are less likely to attain 5 GCSEs.
  • In addition, one of the top reasons that teachers leave the profession is due to ‘challenging behaviour.’
  • Social and education policy is currently failing these students, at a systemic level there is a lot of reform that needs to happen.

But meanwhile what can the teaching staff, who work with these pupils every day, do to help? How can we engage these pupils and through doing so help improve their life chances (whilst teaching another 34 pupils at the same time and keeping ourselves sane)?

This book offers sustainable approaches for mainstream staff working in secondary schools to support distressing behaviour in the classroom. The guide is laid out as a practical How to, offering tools to use in the classroom, case-studies and on-going thinking questions for self-evaluation, reflection and improvement. Each of these are based on key inclusive behavioural approaches influenced by therapeutic practice and best classroom practice, in line with the current British Ofsted Framework and Teaching Standards.

In addition, each chapter shares interviews with experts; teaching staff who work with these pupils daily in mainstream schools, teaching staff from Alternative Provisions (AP) and Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) who work with some of the most challenging behavioural situations in our education system, therapists and mental health specialists.

Each chapter focuses on a topic, and discusses why it is important, some background theory, how it can affect your teaching and signposts to other relevant resources and research. At the end of each chapter there is an ‘action box’ with things you can do to improve behaviour next lesson, next week and long-term. The chapters are broken down into clear sections, that allow for a full read through, or a quick look at a specific section in your 5min break.

Drawing on my own experience teaching for 17yrs in mainstream, PRUs and APs, this book will prove essential reading for teachers, trainees, teaching assistants and school staff in order to improve outcomes and reduce exclusion levels.

I look forward to sharing more news on these events throughout the year!

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