Reply To: neurodiverse- Appropriateness of detentions and sanctions

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    Hello there, at our school (secondary 11-18 yrs, 2,000 students), we apply the same system of consequences for sanctions across the board. However, this is done with the knowledge that not all students start from the same place. Consequently, students profile might include specific instructions around how to apply the behaviour for learning system and these adjustments are agreed with parents and pupils. This might include:
    – a pre-agreed script that a member of staff can use
    – permission for non-noisy fiddle toys or other regulation tools
    – acknowledgement of mistakes
    – the offer of a cooldown moment or a visit to a pastoral member of staff before things escalate
    – a very clear model of the positive change/behaviour that the staff member wishes to see and why

    When something goes wrong, we review together. I have experienced some push back about not differentiating consequences with comparisons to torture being made. However, despite these emotive comparisons, at present my feeling is that our BFL promotes and protects a learning environment that is supportive for those with additional needs. It provides a measure of consistency and expectation that makes space for good teaching. If asking a student to behave differently were enough, there would be no consequences system. Not all behaviour is SEN, nor does all behaviour come from a place where needs aren’t being met.

    On the other side of the coin, there are targeted interventions to help build student skills in negotiating their day and work on restorative conversations. I think, for us, it boils down to communication with parents and students around things we know might be tricky but also not shying away from having to hold a line. It does not always work and is not perfect!