no excuses

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If you tolerate this then your children will be next

2019-11-09T17:56:29+00:00March 16th, 2019|behaviour|

What kinds of poor behaviour should we tolerate? How much should we tolerate? There's a wellspring of opinion that zero tolerance is too much, that we ought to tolerate some poor behaviour, but how much? I don't think anyone would be prepared to argue that we should tolerate 100%, so is 50% OK? 25%? 10%? Clearly, having a discussion about the percentage of poor behaviour which we ought to tolerate is absurd. Maybe we'd be better off debating whether some kinds of poor behaviour are just 'high spirits'? The trouble with this is that it's devilishly difficult to distinguish between good-humoured [...]

Should everyone follow the rules?

2016-09-08T14:38:27+01:00September 8th, 2016|behaviour|

I've never liked being told what to do. I'm not a great team player and I struggle with authority. I've always chafed at constraints and, as I get older, I've become increasingly aware that what I used to imagine was an over-developed sense of injustice is actually entitlement; a sense the world should bend itself around my whims and conform to my desires. Childish, isn't it? Part of being an adult is learning to suppress these baser aspects of our nature and this is something I attempt, often with negligible success, to do. I've come to realise that if I want to avoid [...]

What I know about whether ‘no excuses’ behaviour systems work

2016-12-31T15:01:56+00:00April 25th, 2016|behaviour|

I read John Tomsett's account of his speech at Michaela School's Debate on 23rd April on why 'no excuses' behaviour systems don't work with great interest. As a speech it is well researched, well argued and kinda misses the point. He acknowledges this when he says, "If I’m against “no excuses” discipline, I must, logically, be in favour of “excuses” discipline" but then dismisses this as "nonsense". But is it? He says that "relentless rigorous routines, and consistent, and I mean truly consistent, implementation of behaviour systems were the bedrock of good behaviour management in schools". What's that if not 'no excuses' discipline? [...]

When planning fails… what to do when behaviour breaks down

2016-02-17T15:50:51+00:00February 17th, 2016|behaviour, leadership|

"There is in the act of preparing, the moment you start caring." Winston Churchill Lots of people who don't normally like the stuff I write seemed to approve of the post I wrote on responsibly planning for predictable behaviour to reduce exclusions, and some of those who are usually approving were less pleased. There's two things I might take from this: 1) I've occupied the centre ground and communicated a moderate message that confirmed readers' biases, or 2) I didn't manage to explain myself very well. I think there's a bit of both at work. My point is that we should plan [...]

I fought the law and the law won

2016-09-14T11:01:09+01:00May 15th, 2015|behaviour|

There’s man all over for you, blaming on his boots the fault of his feet. Samuel Beckett Yesterday I attended a Speed Awareness Course. I wasn't sure what to expect but was mainly relieved not to get another 3 points on my licence. At worst it would a dull four hours, at best I might learn something. The course started with participants being asked about what excuses we might make for speeding. We came up with the usual suspects: hospital emergencies, first offences, "it's perfectly safe on this stretch of road", needing a clean licence in order to work, lack of [...]

What 'no excuses' means to me

2015-05-13T22:21:44+01:00May 13th, 2015|behaviour|

And oftentimes excusing of a fault Doth make the fault the worse by the excuse, As patches set upon a little breach Discredit more in hiding of the fault Than did the fault before it was so patch’d. Shakespeare, King John Let's begin by defining our terms. The dictionary is instructive and offers several different definitions: an explanation offered as a reason for being excused; a plea offered in extenuation of a fault or for release from an obligation, promise,etc.: His excuse for being late was unacceptable. a ground or reason for excusing or being excused: Ignorance is no excuse. a pretext or subterfuge: He [...]