[in reference to the increase in antisocial behaviour]
During the pandemic we have seen an increase in antisocial behaviour. We must go back to basics and insist on better behaviour in schools.
For too long children have had their school day curtailed by teachers needing to deal with poor behaviour.
Now that children are returning to school this will continue and worsen as some children from chaotic backgrounds have not had the stabilising influence of school for a year and have not been able to access lessons.
Far from attempting to minimise school exclusions, they must be increased. Prolonged poor behaviour must not be tolerated. A greater understanding of disruptive pupils needs to be embraced.
To that end, current pupil referral units need to have a complete overhaul, becoming staffed with highly trained behavioural experts, gifted teachers, mental health practitioners, psychologists, mentors, those with skilled apprenticeship knowledge, sports teachers, etc. and being equipped with whatever resources are necessary.
Disadvantaged children must be given opportunities to thrive and achieve their full potential. One to one contact needs to be available if needed.
Attendance at these new centres will be non-negotiable. Absentees will be continually contacted and will attend. The aim of all the children and staff must be a return to mainstream schooling.
The advantages of such scheme would be many:
1. Mainstream school teachers currently stressed with having to deal with poor behaviour would be able to teach lessons unhindered by a disruptive minority.
2. Children in class seeing poor behaviour being dealt with will no longer emulate it in the certain knowledge of their being excluded.
3. Teacher stress and resulting absenteeism will reduce, saving supply teacher salaries.
4. School refuseniks and disadvantaged children will be in a safe, encouraging environment daily,
preventing approaches from criminal gangs.
5. The goodwill of volunteers and charities could be called upon to help in the new centres in the form of sports coaching etc.
6. Excluded children will be part of an encouraging environment providing them with opportunities to become their very best selves.
At present there is a great deal of government and nationwide hope for the future of disadvantaged children after a difficult year.
If strategies can be put in place to enable them to move forward we should see a great deal less antisocial behaviour, greater self esteem and a desire to change their lives for the better.
All children must be enabled to aim high.