Retford: ‘Rewarding responsible pupils is key’ - says Elizabethan headteacher

The number of physical attacks by pupils on teachers in Bassetlaw has dramatically reduced in the past year, according to new figures.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 5th June 2013, 2:41 pm
Elizabethan Academy, Retford G130605-1b
Elizabethan Academy, Retford G130605-1b

Data obtained through the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act shows there were zero recorded incidents between 2012-13 - compared to three in 2011-12 and 13 in 2010-11.

According to Notts County Council, the recorded attacks happened at Portland and Valley in Worksop and Elizabethan and Retford Oaks over the past three years.

Of the total number of physical attacks, three resulted in exclusion, six pupils were verbally reprimanded and three cases put down to special educational needs.

There were no verbal attacks recorded over the same period.

Elizabethan Academy principal Lynn Kenworthy said there have been no attacks on teachers at the school.

The term ‘physical assault against an adult’ is a category that we have to use to report incidents to the Local Authority,” she said.

“It covers a wide range of possible behaviours. It is much more likely to be a thoughtless act rather than a deliberate attack, for example, a student pushing past a member of staff. Two such incidents were reported last year and none this year.”

Mrs Kenworthy said that rewarding and giving pupils responsibility were at the core of the school’s approach to discipline.

“Strong discipline is very important to us at The Elizabethan and behaviour was judged to be ‘good’ at our last inspection,” she said.

“We exclude very rarely and only when all other attempts to engage a student and their family have been exhausted. We have a very strong Inclusion Team: dedicated staff who find ways of supporting young people when they make the wrong choices.”

But Mrs Kenworthy added the school is not afraid to take steps to deal with persistently difficult students.

“If a student persistently stops others from learning then, unfortunately, a permanent exclusion may be necessary. There were three last year and there has been one this year.”

‘I believe that exclusions are reducing, overall, because we have very positive relationships between staff and students. A recent student survey includes comments such as ‘ the teachers have been absolutely brilliant in supporting us with revision sessions for exams’ and ‘ this is a great school with helpful, friendly teachers and pupils.”

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