Rhamie, Jasmine and Hallam, Susan
Evaluation of the Primary Behaviour and Attendance Pilot: school improvement where behaviour and attendance are key issues.
In, BERA Annual Conference 2006, Warwick, UK,
06 - 09 Sep 2006.
British Educational Research Programme20pp.
Poor attendance and disruptive behaviour in primary schools have a negative impact on learning and teaching. The Primary Behaviour and Attendance Strategy pilot took place from 2003-05 and involved 25 Local Authorities. The school improvement strand of the pilot aimed to develop and test out models of LA support where behaviour and attendance were key school improvement issues. Each LA was funded to provide a teacher coach with the responsibility of facilitating the school behaviour and attendance audit, the school self review and providing targeted support to individual teachers and holding staff development training. The evaluation aimed to determine the effectiveness of the focused support provided through the teacher coach to schools where behaviour and attendance were key issues. A number of methods were implemented to achieve the aims
? Telephone/email interviews Telephone/email interviews with the 25 LA pilot coordinators
? Selection of 10 LAs for more detailed evaluation work. This involved interviews with LA and project staff.
? Visits to 4 schools which were identified by LA coordinators or were willing to participate. These schools were considered to be exemplars of good practise.
? Questionnaires were completed by school staff to assess the impact of this strand.
Local authorities managed the implementation of this strand in a variety of ways. Schools were selected for participation from evidence that the school was experiencing difficulties and need support. Care needed to be taken in managing the school improvement strand due to the sensitivities of the schools. The behaviour audits were reported to have been useful in informing action planning. However, they were considered to be long and required training in using the CD Rom.
The role of the teacher coach was valued and positively evaluated. It was most successful when it was developed within a whole school approach to considering behaviour and when all staff in the school were engaged with it. There were possible issues relating to confidentiality when teaching was poor or where the head teacher felt that a teacher was weak. Ways of addressing this issues need to be developed.
Ninety five per cent of the teachers said that the coaching had improved their skills in promoting positive behaviour and reducing poor behaviour in the classroom, while 100% indicated that it had improved their confidence. However, it was deemed less successful in reducing management time on discipline issues or reducing teacher workload.
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