‘On behaviour, schools and colleges are closer than they seem’

Working in challenging schools, alternative provision, PRUs and the like, I’ve seen my fair bit of problematic behaviour. And not just from the staff! Tes reports.

But behaviour in FE is a tricky beast. On the whole, it’s not children that we’re teaching (although the sector’s remit is widening in some places) and this has to be taken into consideration. However, if I’m going to be 100 per cent truthful, during my time in FE, I have witnessed some behaviours that wouldn’t be out of place in a Year 9 class who like to make teachers cry for fun.

So although there is concern as to how the new Ofsted framework (and it’s suggestions in regards to behaviour) will be translated in an FE setting, I’m not 100 per cent sure that there is so much of a difference in what is desirable behaviour between sectors.

Granted, I’m not going to be telling Terry – the prospect for a Super League team who has to turn sideways to fit his shoulders down the corridor – to do up his top button (mostly for fear that he’d kick me for a conversion). I also won’t try to give detention to Pat, who after her English and maths upskill session has to dash to pick up her grandkids, because it’s not appropriate to treat adults that way.

Things like showing respect to staff and other learners (and the expectation of getting it in return), good timekeeping, ensuring organisation and readiness to work, not disrupting others – this stuff (should) apply everywhere, no matter what the sector. And if there are parallels between schools and colleges, it’s not “infantilisation” in regards to the concepts themselves, just in the danger that FE tries to appease the inspectorate by wholeheartedly copying what schools do.

There are things to do with behaviour that matter whether you’re 12, 20, or 62. These things don’t change whether you’re trying to get your kids to function in a school environment or whether you’re trying to prepare your learners for the world of work.

Read more ‘On behaviour, schools and colleges are closer than they seem’

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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