Governance under the new Ofsted Framework: behaviour and attitudes
I spend a lot of time reviewing governance structures in schools, and one of the things that I am often surprised about is that schools have governance committees for everything but behaviour. If this describes you, think about how you are currently monitoring behaviour in your school. Do governors know your school’s strengths and weaknesses in behaviour management? Are they receiving data on in-class behaviour points and rewards? Do you have a specific governor meeting where you discuss behaviour and attitudes to learning? Could your governors explain where the issues are with behaviour management in the school and what is being done about them? If your answers to any of these questions are ‘no’, you could think about how you can include this in your annual governance plan.
One way of governors effectively monitoring behaviour is through school visits. Monitoring behaviour through governor visits can be challenging as it is important for staff to feel as though they are being supported rather than judged through this process. It is also important for governors to feel as though they are equipped to be able to carry out the monitoring visit effectively. Expectations should be clearly defined. The behaviour policy should be the starting point for a governor monitoring visit. Governors should be pulling out items from the policy and then using observations, in both lessons and around the school outside of lessons, to assess whether the policy is being followed effectively. Observing behaviour in lessons should be done in close partnership with the teacher. The governor should understand the intent for behaviour in the lesson and what they can expect the behaviour to look like.
The report arising from a monitoring visit such as this, coupled with a head teacher report on behaviour management and strategy in school, and a review of the school’s behaviour policy provides really strong evidence for a discussion on behaviour during a governor meeting.
Next time…the role of governance in leadership and management.