Academy chain will hold back pupils who misbehave

An academy chain has released its new behaviour policy which states that it will hold back pupils who misbehave

As reported by The Guardian, an academy chain has come under fire for saying that it will hold pupils back a year if they misbehave in school.

Outwood Grange Academy Trust (Ogat) runs 31 schools and has previously been criticised for its high rates of inclusion and holding pupils in isolation.

The school reviewed its behaviour policy recently, following legal action taken against it by a pupil who spent 35 days in isolation.

The new policy, published earlier this week, now includes: “Students who do not show, over time, good behaviour, attitude and effort in their lessons, will not graduate at the end of Year 8 [aged 12 to 13] and may subsequently remain in Year 8 until improvements are made.”

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), said that the threat is too severe and is unlikely to work as a deterrent.

“Separating a student from their friends and peers could cause more challenges for the child,” she said.

“Schools need the funding and staffing to put in place the right support where behaviour is disruptive and isn’t improving.

“The current cuts to pastoral systems leave staff under too much pressure and students without the individual support needed to improve their behaviour.”

The trust defended itself by saying that its new policy will also focus on praising good behaviour.

Martyn Oliver, Ogat’s chief executive, said: “On the very rare occasions that a small number of children do not graduate at the end of Year 8, the students will receive intensive support and a relevant curriculum to ensure they continue to progress their learning.

“This is in fitting with the school’s legal ability to manage and organise their curriculum as they wish, whilst ensuring that all children access an appropriate curriculum, taking account of their age and any specific needs.”

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