Scotland

ATL national official for Scotland, Keith Robson, looks at Scotland's approach to managing behaviour

Few other topics fan the flames of media excitement more than behaviour. Readers of this column will know that in Scotland we revel in taking a different approach to our colleagues in England, whether right or wrong.

The Scottish Government's approach is to focus on positive relationships and behaviours by funding a Positive Behaviour Team to work with local authorities and ensuring that these behaviours are embedded within the four capacities and experiences and outcomes of Curriculum for Excellence.

That is not to say that the Scottish Government doesn't issue its own guidance. In March, the national guidance for schools and local authorities in managing school exclusions Included, Engaged and Involved Part 2: A Positive Approach to Managing School Exclusion was published. Apart from its focus on "prevention, early intervention and response to individual need, incorporating staged interventions", the document also gives an insight into the levels of exclusions in Scottish schools. In 2003-04 there were 38,912 exclusions (temporary and permanent) with a downward trend continuing all the way to the latest published figures of 30,211 in 2009-10.

Will Curriculum for Excellence, once embedded, have a significant impact on future exclusion figures? Readers looking for further information should also see Behaviour in Scottish Schools Research 2009.

There is a positive message but much work still needs to be done, particularly for learners who are looked after, have additional support needs and/or are from areas of deprivation, who remain more likely to be excluded.

There is a positive message but much work still needs to be done

Keith Robson, ATL national official for Scotland

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