Hinds pledges £10m to help teachers deal with bad behaviour

Damian Hinds will announce plans for the first substantial review of government behaviour guidance in over three years, along with £10 million in funding to train teachers.

The Department for Education’s guidance on behaviour and discipline in schools was last re-issued in January 2016, but hasn’t been fully reviewed since September 2015.

Ministers are under pressure to help schools manage behaviour in the wake of a rise in the number of exclusions and suspensions from schools. In July, it was revealed that the proportion of pupils permanently excluded from school has risen for the third year in a row.

In his speech to the Conservative Party conference today, Hinds will speak of the need to go further on behaviour and free pupils and teachers from low-level disruption so they can focus on learning and teaching.

He will pledge to update government guidance on behaviour with the help of schools that demonstrate best practice.

The government also plans to reform the training teachers receive in their first two years in the classroom to “ensure that they are able to manage behaviour and thrive in their primary task of teaching”.

And Hinds will also announce a £10 million fund to help schools which manage behaviour well to train other teachers and share their expertise. The money will be spread over the next two years.

As revealed by Schools Week last week, the education secretary will focus on three main priorities in his speech – academic standards, parity of esteem for vocational routes and the need to support children beyond the classroom.

He will say the government has a record “to be proud of”, but that it is not yet a record good enough to be satisfied with.

“Our ambition is simply said but truly stretching: a world class education for everyone, whatever path you take, whatever your background.

“We will not rest until results in all parts of our country are as good as they are now in the best, opportunity is equally available to all of our society and all routes, whether academic or technical, are of equal standing.”

In his speech, Hinds will also set out plans to more than double the number of “careers leaders” in schools, boost competitive sports and increase funding for T-levels, all from existing budgets.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, critcised the government’s approach of making “modest investment” in individual initiatives.

“While we welcome any additional investment in schools and colleges, it is disappointing that the small pots of money announced by the education secretary are a drop in the ocean compared to the funding that is so desperately needed to give all our young people the best possible education,” Barton said.

“Just a few days after 2,000 headteachers protested in London over the school funding crisis, the government’s response is to make a modest investment in specific initiatives, spread very thinly over several years.”