F EATURES EXCLUS I ONS broadest scale this must come from the government and I am very aware that I write at a time where there are cuts across the country. However, even on limited funds, there are choices that have to be made. A key priority must be investing in SEN specialist staff to support students’ learning and behaviour. Consider the following: l Don’t invest in new technology, but instead get a SEN or SEMH (social, emotional, mental health lead). l Recruit specialist staff (or train staff you currently have) to support children’s needs. This can be the difference between keeping them in school and losing them to a downward spiral. As hard as the choices are, we have a responsibility to fight for every child’s future. l Spot behavioural patterns early and attempt to remedy this with clear routines and expectation setting. This can make a big difference. l Don’t let things slide because a pupil is six and it’s sort of endearing when they have a strop. It will not remain endearing. If we expect a lot of students from an early age, they will often meet or even exceed those expectations. By this, I do not necessarily mean academic targets – which great pressure is placed around. Rather, I mean expectations around students being well mannered, kind to one another and ready to try their hardest. l Develop close working relationships between parents and, where needed, social services. You can establish routines and values at school, but if this isn’t mirrored at home then you’re fighting a losing battle. In my experience, this can be the hardest part of the process. Building a relationship with families takes time which teachers often don’t have. Again, having a specialist member of staff whose role includes this kind of work is invaluable. l Only use exclusions as an absolute last resort. It can feel as if they make everyone’s lives easier – not least the lives of other children in the school, but the consequences for excluded children are severe. There are so many other things to try before it gets to the point where an exclusion should even be considered: behaviour contracts, sticker charts, clear sanctions, coming in to school for half days and building back up from there, one on one or small group interventions… All of this takes time but it is time invested in our children’s futures and that is time very well worth spending. TP Emma Tonny is a former member of staff at a PRU and currently works as an intervention and inclusion specialist. | 29 SCHOOL BUSINESS ADVICE WWW.PRIMARYLEADERS.COM BROUGHT TOYOUBY PRIMARY SCHOOL MANAGEMENT Aperfectday Hold agreat openevent Beenergyefficient Yourguide to reducing costs Very tasty Brilliant food on abudget Succession planning How to stepdown successfully Feelingangry? Ways to keep your cool Unlocking potential Parental complaints Makeyourdigital policy foolproof HOWLIGHTING BOOSTSLEARNING DOYOUHAVE ‘INTENT’? Beprepared foran Ofsteddeepdive 1PSM18Cover4.2.indd 1 18/02/2020 12:32 This article first featured in our sister title Primary School Management. Find out more at