Frequently Asked Questions
My setting doesn't have many behavioural issues, can I still use your service?
In addition to addressing challenging behaviour, there are training packages, workshops, PSHE sessions and assemblies included in the support I'm able to offer. All settings will have an element of low-level disruptive behaviour that can be managed with whole-school management approaches. You may wish to have a staff meeting, parent workshop, peer mediation training, some staff coaching or even something completely bespoke. Where behaviour is concerned, prevention is infinitely better than cure!
The excellent practice and outstanding behaviour in my setting isn't recognised, what should I do?
I believe very strongly in peer-to-peer support. Where there is strong leadership share your approaches with others; for class teachers and support assistants let others know your fool-proof methods; when children conduct themselves well encourage them to be role models for other pupils. This support may take place within your own setting, in school clusters or academy trusts or settings in other parts of the region. In an advisory role I have always encouraged partnership working and I actively facilitate professionals and families learning from each other.
I'd like to work closely with parents to support managing their children's behaviour at home, can you help with this?
For every situation there is a benefit from a consistent approach between home and school. I'm likely to meet the parent in school, spend some time observing the child, some individual or class-based work and then, if appropriate, some work with the family in the home. An honest and positive relationship between professionals and parents is vital for ensuring good outcomes.
My child's behaviour has deteriorated rapidly, what should I do?
There is a reason for any significant change in behaviour. It might be a single traumatic incident or a build up of events that has caused anxiety for the child. Sometimes asking the child directly doesn't produce any answers, a period of observation and the use of suitable resources can gently lead to a discussion about the issues. I'd advise all parents to discuss such a difficulty with your child's school and I'm always willing to give support wherever needed.
Can the school environment affect children's behaviour?
There is no doubt that the physical layout of a setting can make a difference to the way the children behave within it. Cramped rooms, poorly lit spaces, narrow corridors, lack of ventilation, an echoing hall, 'blind spots' where children can't be seen, insufficient outdoor areas, the positioning of the interactive whiteboard and even distracting smells from the kitchen or the toilets can be barriers to children's learning. Disengaged children then become disruptive and detrimental to other learners. Spotting these issues from an objective viewpoint and feeding back following a Learning Walk can be very helpful. The Positive Behaviour for Effective Learning training looks specifically at this area and aims to reduce the situations that can trigger some children's negative behaviours.
How does your work make children's behaviour better?
Unfortunately there's no magic wand or instant spell! For any behaviour to improve it takes time to practice and acquire the motivation to change. For most children boundaries, consistency and some kind of recognition of success are key factors. As adults we are usually helping children to substitute negative habits with positive actions whilst encouraging their readiness for a new way to behave that will be effective and permanent. Some children move through this process at a regular pace; for some it takes much longer and may even regress at times. Improvement in behaviour is a long-term process and perseverance pays off in the end.
What is the difference between the two- and three-hour training?
Each training package includes information and situations that can be quite generic. As the trainer I bring examples and anecdotes I have encountered from my work with staff, children and families during my career and schools contribute experiences of their own. Sessions are as interactive as possible, but during two hours training this is likely to be limited. In three-hour sessions the content is much more tailored around the experiences and needs of the school. Small group and team work often gives staff members the opportunity to consider immediate issues that arise in their setting and begin some planning collaboratively to address these matters. In addition, some training packages include more theory around behaviours which work better as three-hour sessions.
What training materials are provided?
For all face-to-face training and many of the workshops there are slide notes from the PowerPoint Presentation, hand outs and a presentation folder for attendees. Electronic copies of PowerPoint Presentations are not provided. For online training, the individual or setting is emailed the slide notes from the PowerPoint and handouts beforehand in PDF format for all participants to refer to during the training session. For all training I ask for a short evaluation to be submitted and returned to me at the end of the session.
Is whole-school training or individual staff members attending training courses best?
This often depends on the training, for example the CDI Strategy training only works if the whole school understand the strategy, use it consistently and are confident in its implementation. Therefore, I don’t deliver this training to individual participants. The Behaviour Mentor training is best delivered to a group of staff from other settings. There may be one or two participants from the same setting within the group, but is unlikely that more than a small number of staff in each setting would be working in this role. Sharing the learning experience with colleagues from other settings can encourage reflective thinking and extend good practice. It is valuable for leadership staff to be in attendance at training designed for class teachers, newly qualified staff and support staff working with children with complex needs. The Professionals Training can be booked by an individual staff member with the content pre-determined each half-term.
How much training can one setting have?
There are different ways in which settings can access training. It could be as a stand alone one-off session or some settings may opt for one or two training courses per term. With a Comprehensive Support Package for a half-term, a term, two terms or a year, you may wish to use a proportion of the sessions dedicated to training, coaching and workshops for staff, parents and children, but there is no upper limit to training within the session allowance.
What's the benefit of a Comprehensive Support Package?
A package of support can be tailored to address a number of areas with a combination of services. Depending on a setting's budget and size, a long-term plan can be developed, with regular email and phone contact between scheduled sessions. Coaching tasks can be set and evaluated over a period of time and bespoke support can be provided.
What shall I do if I have to cancel a booking?
As much notice as possible would be preferred. You will receive a credit voucher which can be redeemed for a service of the same value for the rest of the academic year. An alternative date will be arranged, subject to availability.
What if I have to cancel my booking for a Professionals Training session?
If you cancel your booking within 48 hours, you will receive a credit voucher which can be redeemed for an alternative Professionals Training session. However, the training will change each half-term, so you may not receive the training originally booked within the same academic year.
I'm an adult looking for some support, how do I know if you can help?
What is the cost of your services?
There are standard packages for support and training as well as bespoke work. Please email me to discuss what is most suitable for your needs.