Research School Network: Consistency in Behaviour Management by Vicky Castle, Assistant Headteacher at The Blue School in Wells


Consistency in Behaviour Management

by Vicky Castle, Assistant Headteacher at The Blue School in Wells

by Somerset Research School
on the

Castle Vicky2

Vicky Castle

The Blue School, Wells

Vicky Castle is an Assistant Headteacher at The Blue School in Wells, Somerset. The school is a large, comprehensive secondary school serving the communities in the city of Wells and the surrounding villages. 16% of children are in receipt of Pupil Premium and 15% have SEND. Vicky has responsibility for overseeing all of the pastoral support offered to students in Years 7 to 11.

Read more aboutVicky Castle

Consistency in Behaviour Management

Improving Behaviour in Schools, consistency is key

“Only a quarter of secondary and half of primary teachers agreed that the behaviour policy in their school was applied consistently.”

Managing behaviour in schools, either on a whole school basis or on an individual level continues to be a constant challenge. Colleagues who have worked in education a long time would probably say they have witnessed a shift in student behaviours. This is not necessarily in the type of behaviours students are demonstrating but more so in their response to the adults that work with them. The change in behaviour trends goes alongside a different approach to schools from some parents in a post-Covid world. This is also at a time where support from external agencies is stretched further than ever and national attendance statistics are a big issue. 

With this in mind, the EEF’s Improving Behaviour in Schools guidance report offers many recommendations for best practice around managing behaviour. Arguably, the most fundamental challenge for a team of staff is consistency (Recommendation 6, page 32). Students work more effectively and prefer it when there is real sense of clarity.

Our strategy is built around 3 strands:

  • Prevention
  • Management
  • Restoration


Consistency in the application of these strands is essential. Careful planning and training can help to reduce the number of behaviour incidents. We have focussed on the careful construction of teaching groups that encourage positive behaviour. Curriculum Team Leaders and Pastoral Team Leaders work hard to ensure the dynamics in a group will work. Staff have attended coaching group meetings based on learning behaviours. Training programmes for teaching assistants, ECTs and graduate trainees also support this. The more skilled we are as staff in the classroom, the more behaviour incidents will be prevented. Staff take time to teach their classroom routines and rituals, ensuring they meet the classroom protocols to which all staff adhere. 

A further part of our prevention work has been the overt promotion of the school’s vision and values. This has been delivered consistently across all year groups through tutor time, assemblies, lessons, PSHE, RSE, Google Classroom notices and importantly through our rewards system.

Even relatively simple changes are likely to benefit from careful implementation, wide consultation and iterative feedback


Managing behaviour on a daily basis requires clear processes that are easy to implement and apply consistently. We introduced the use of a digital platform called ePraise which has been a valuable tool in supporting this. We consistently reward the positive behaviours we see and seek to address the negative behaviours promptly. We have worked hard to create pastoral interventions and behaviour stages documents that provide clear guidance for staff. Team leaders work well together to decide on management plans for students and involve parents at an early stage. We have managed social times differently to support positive behaviour. When facing particular challenges like how to manage groups of students congregating in toilets we have adopted a whole school response. Whilst this may not have solved our problems, it has certainly given a robust response and reinforced our values and vision. Students have been given clarity on our expectations and the possible consequences if they make poor choices. We have welcomed student voice feedback in how to improve things further.

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The restorative strand of behaviour management continues to be a focus for us. In many ways it is the hardest to do because of hectic school days with different timetables running. However, it is arguably the most powerful. Giving students time to reflect on their choices and to help them understand things from a different perspective is so important. We continue to encourage restorative conversations to take place after incidents of poor behaviour. These are often facilitated by middle leaders or pastoral staff outside of lesson time. Targeted interventions for students help to de-escalate situations. A restorative centre provides some students with a calm and positive place to work.

It is easy to say that the management of behaviour is the responsibility of certain post holders. The reality is greater than that. Managing behaviour is the responsibility of all school staff. We all have a part to play in modelling the behaviour we wish to see and supporting one another in its management. Our consistency as a team of staff will significantly improve our chances of success on a whole school and individual basis.

If you would like to receive a hard copy of the EEFs Improving Behaviour Guidance Report or to discover how we may be able to help your school or setting with specific development needs and priorities please contact us here.

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