The National Behaviour Survey Report was published by the DFE on the 8th June 2023. We have written a summary of the key points, but also some useful reflective questions for leaders to use to help improve their behaviour policy and procedures in their school.
Findings 1: School behaviour culture and policy
A summary: The results for school behaviour culture and policy were largely positive with school leaders pupils and teachers largely agreeing that there was a shared policy and culture for behaviour, but that there was work to be done around treating pupils fairly, using data to inform policy and also engaging parents and carers in behaviour policy and procedures:
• In June 2022, the majority (82%) of school leaders and teachers agreed that there was a shared understanding amongst staff in their school of what “good behaviour” means.
• In June 2022, the majority of pupils (91%) agreed that they knew how their school expected them to behave.
• All school leaders (100%) and 98% of teachers reported that rules were applied fairly to all pupils at least some of the time (June 2022). However, only 42% of school leaders and 23% of teachers reported this happened ‘all of the time’. Overall, 91% of pupils reported rules were applied fairly to all pupils at least some of the time, with 19% reporting this happened ‘all of the time’.
• In June 2022, the majority (90%) of schools reported systematically recording data on pupil behaviour and 83% of schools reported using data to inform their approach to managing pupil behaviour.
• Overall, 66% of school leaders and teachers agreed that parents are supportive of schools’ behaviour rules. However, school leaders were more likely than teachers to agree parents are supportive of the school's behaviour rules (79% vs. 65%). When asked directly, 89% of parents agreed that “I am supportive of the school’s behaviour rules”.
Key Questions for your school behaviour culture and policy
- How do you know that everyone understands and follows your behaviour policy. What do the staff, pupils and parents/carers say?
- How do pupils feel about how they are treated? Do they feel that they are treated fairly?
- Do you look at the behaviour data that you have collected to inform policy and procedure? Do you use it to help inform how to respond to individual cases and also the school as a whole?
- What information do parents and carers get about your behaviour policy? Do they fully understand it and how do you know? What needs to improve and what do you do well with communicating this to them?
Findings 2: School environment and experience
A Summary: There was some disparity between leaders’ perception of a calm environment and those of pupils, with only 55% of pupils saying that their school had been calm and orderly most days in the past week.
Less than half of pupils said that they felt safe and that they enjoyed coming to school and only 3/4 were motivated too learn.
This suggests that there needs some improvements around creating a calm and engaging learning environment and also a safe and happy place for pupils.
Key findings include:
• In June 2022, 92% of school leaders reported that their school had been calm and orderly ‘every day’ or ‘most days’ in the past week (versus 70% of teachers). For pupils, 55% reported that their school had been calm and orderly ‘every day’ or ‘most days’ in the past week.
• Secondary school leaders (46%) were more likely to say the school had been calm and orderly ‘every day’ in the past week than secondary teachers (23%) or pupils (16%), with secondary teachers also being more likely to say this than pupils.
• When asked how often they felt safe at school, 41% of pupils said that they had felt safe at school ‘every day’ in the past week in June 2022.
• In June 2022, just under half of pupils (49%) said they enjoyed coming to school ‘every day’ or ‘most days’ in the past week, with this being lowest for Year 9 pupils at 41%.
• In June 2022, 73% of pupils felt they were motivated to learn, with 20% who said that they were ‘very motivated’ and 53% who said they were ‘fairly motivated’.
Key Questions regarding school environment and experience
- Is our learning environment calm, orderly and engaging? How do we know? What do our staff pupils, parents and carers say?
- How do we ensure that pupils feel safe? How do we know if it is? What do our staff, pupils and parents say?
- How do we know that our curriculum and learning environment are working well and suitable for all learners?
Findings 3: Prevalence and impact of misbehaviour
Perceptions of good behaviour were different within school communities, with leaders having a more positive outlook than teachers and pupils, suggesting that perhaps there is work to be done around getting real information about your school with regards to ‘good behaviour’ and how people feel about it.
It’s also clear from the results that misbehaviour is having a detrimental impact on wellbeing for all, leaders, teachers, pupils and parents and that there is a significant loss of learning time as a result.
There were also some issues around bullying, with many pupils saying that they had been bullied either in school or online.
Key findings include:
• In June 2022, 90% of school leaders said that behaviour was either ‘very good’ or ‘good’ in the past week (versus 64% of teachers). For pupils, 47% said that behaviour had been ‘very good’ or ‘good’.
• In June 2022, 62% of school leaders and teachers reported that misbehaviour interrupted teaching in at least some lessons in the past week. Similarly, 67% of pupils reported that misbehaviour had interrupted their work in at least some lessons.
• On average, teachers reported that for every 30 minutes of lesson time, 6.3 minutes were lost due to misbehaviour. The majority of teachers (69%) reported that between one and ten minutes were lost per 30 minutes of lesson time. This was similar between primary and secondary school teachers.
• In June 2022, 60% of school leaders and teachers reported that pupil misbehaviour had had a negative impact on their health and wellbeing to any extent in the past week: of these, 7% reported it to ‘a great extent’, 23% to ‘some extent’ and 31% to ‘a small extent’.
• Overall, 22% of pupils said that they had been a victim of bullying for any reason in the past 12 months. Among pupils who reported that they had been bullied, the most common perceived reason reported for being bullied was the way they looked (45% for those bullied in person; 52% for those bullied online).
Key Questions around the prevalence and impact of misbehaviour
- What do pupils/staff/leaders/parents and carers feel is good behaviour and does everyone feel the same with regards to the level of good behaviour in school?
- How much learning time is lost due to misbehaviour?
- What improvements need to be made due to lost learning time?
- Are individual learners needs met? If so, how do you know?
- Are there questions that need to be asked around planning for individual needs, including arranging training around SEND and behaviour, seeking external help from specialists, and improving the curriculum?
- How can the school as a whole look after the wellbeing of all involved including pupils, staff, parents and carers?
- Do pupils know what bullying is, and how to report it effectively? What strategies and procedures do you have in school and do they work?
- Are pupils taught about how to be safe online and in school?
Findings 4: Responding to behaviour
Whilst teachers and leaders feel that they are confident in managing misbehaviour (suggesting that they have adequate training to do so), not many teachers felt supported to do so by their leaders, with as much as 29% saying that leaders did not help them to manage pupils with persistently disruptive behaviour. This suggests that there is work to be done around supporting leaders so that they can support teachers. This may be due to external pressures such as a lack of agencies to refer pupils for support, or a need for leaders to evaluate how well they support teachers, or both.
Many teachers and leaders reported that they could not access further training, but the reason why this is the case is not clear. It could be due to time pressures or access to local specialists who can provide support for individual pupils.
Strategies such as targeted interventions, referrals to external agencies and support through pastoral services were all in place showing that schools work hard to ensure that support is put in place, but that the external agencies were not always quick to respond and support.
Key findings include:
• In June 2022, 94% of school leaders and teachers felt at least fairly confident in personally managing misbehaviour in their school, with 46% feeling ‘very confident’. Overall, 96% of school leaders and teachers felt at least fairly confident supporting pupils to understand how to behave well, with 49% feeling ‘very confident’.
• When school teachers were asked whether the support they receive from senior leaders helps them to manage pupils with persistently disruptive behaviour effectively, 52% agreed this was the case compared to 29% that disagreed.
• Just over a quarter of school teachers (27%) and a fifth of school leaders (20%) felt they could not personally access training and development support for behaviour management relevant to their experience and needs.
• The interventions most commonly used by schools to manage behaviour were referrals to specialist services (92%) and targeted interventions such as mentoring and social/emotional learning (92%). These were followed by the involvement of specialised pastoral support staff (79%) and removal as a restorative measure (77%).
• Overall, 38% of school leaders and teachers felt any external specialist support provided was at least somewhat timely, with 41% saying that the external support was ‘not timely at all’.
Key questions with regards to responding to behaviour
- Do staff, leaders, pupils and parents/carers know how to manage misbehaviour? How do you know? Does this system work well? How do you know?
- Do leaders support teachers when it comes to persistently disruptive behaviour? How do you know?
- Are teachers and leaders trained in managing behaviour and if not why not? What training is needed and how can this be implemented?
- What interventions are in place to support pupils and do they work? How do you know? How often are these monitored?
- What external agencies are involved? Are there others that can be contacted to provide support?
The full report can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-behaviour-survey-reports