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Tuesday, December 8

Shift in Managing Student Behaviour



Details of the rollout of a Positive Behaviour for Learning Action Plan were announced by the Ministry of Education today and have been published on www.minedu.govt.nz. The Plan has been developed in association with eight other education sector agencies.


From Term One next year already successful programmes will start to be rolled out to communities and schools in response to priorities agreed by a Taumata Whanonga behaviour summit held in March. These include programmes and initiatives for parents and teachers, school-wide programmes, improved behaviour crisis support for schools and improved intensive programmes for individual students with severe behaviour problems.


The programmes and initiatives will be rolled out gradually over the next five years, with a budget of $45 million for implementing the Plan through re-focusing current services.


``The Plan focuses on both the most challenging behaviour issues and those issues associated with more frequent but less disruptive behaviour – both issues impact on learning and the well-being of students and teachers,’’ says Ministry of Education Deputy Secretary, Nicholas Pole. ``Teachers are expressing real concern about these issues. The Plan is a response to those concerns. We will also look next year at how work around truancy, alternative education and the work of Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) can align with the plan.


``The Plan provides a proactive approach to addressing behaviour problems in a consistent and focused way across the country,’’ says Nicholas Pole. ``We are acting on the advice of experts at the Taumata that we work carefully, implement well, and focus our resources and effort on a narrower range of programmes and initiatives that have been demonstrated to achieve results. The more complex and challenging behaviour of older students is an issue that will require further attention as we implement the Plan.


Many of the initiatives in the Plan focus on preventing behaviour problems – getting in early in the life of the child and in the life of the problem. ``There are no quick fixes, but with long term commitment from parents, teachers, schools and communities we can achieve our aim,’’ says Nicholas Pole. “We will start with a gradual rollout which takes account of the fact that 2010 will be a busy year for schools.


``We will know this programme is successful when students are doing better at school and at home, when there are fewer problems with poor behaviour, when parents have better relationships with their children, and when teachers are confident in addressing behaviour problems and have the support they need,’’ says Nicholas Pole.


The Ministry also reminds schools that they can continue to access support for students with behaviour problems through current provision. This includes Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour, who provide support for up to 20,000 students a year, the Ministry of Education Special Education severe behaviour services, and the Interim Response Fund, which was doubled in this year’s budget to $20 million over the five years of the Positive Behaviour for Learning Action Plan.