Revealed: DfE’s lead behaviour schools must have 45%-plus EBacc rate, and 3 MATs are also wanted

The Department for Education has revealed new lead schools to help others tackle unruly behaviour must be ‘outstanding’ and have EBacc entry rates at or above 45 per cent.

Earlier today the government unveiled a new taskforce led by behaviour tsar Tom Bennet which will support 20 lead schools with ‘exemplary behaviour’ to help others tackle classroom disruptions.

New documents now also reveal the government is looking for two to three academy trusts “with excellent behavioural management who are willing to support other trusts”.

The government wants to recruit around 10 secondary schools, six primary schools, two alternative provision schools and two special schools, according to its new application guidance.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said the £10 million programme, announced in August, would “give all schools the tools they need to improve behaviour by making sure that they can learn from the best”.

Eligible schools and academy trusts must be able to demonstrate evidence of understanding their own behavioural management strengths and weaknesses, along with experience of improved behaviour across a schools setting.

They must also have an “appreciation of how different leadership styles and school contexts may require different approaches to support” (see full criteria below).

According to the lead school minimum eligibility criteria, all schools taking part must have an overall ‘outstanding’ judgement from Ofsted.

Primary schools must have above average progress for Reading, Writing and Maths for two of the past three years or for either all pupils or disadvantaged pupils.

Furthermore, phonics results for 2018/19 must be at or above 90 per cent and the percentage of pupils meeting the expected standard in reading, writing and maths needs to be above the national average for two of the past three years.

Secondary schools must have an above average progress 8 score for two of the last three years for either all pupils or disadvantaged pupils and an above average attainment 8 score for the past three years.

Additionally they must have Ebacc entries for 2018/19 at or above 45 per cent.

The document states that special and alternative provision schools will just need an overall judgement of ‘outstanding’.

The criteria is slightly different for MATs hoping to take part – with one or more of the schools needing to meet the aforementioned eligibility criteria.

These lead MATs will be expected to provide between 15 and 20 days supporting partner MATs per year and must have five or more schools to be eligible.


Lead behaviour schools: the criteria

Experience of having sustained and improved behaviour across a school setting/s, at scale, or having maintained consistently high standards of behaviour

An understanding of how social norms, routines and the appropriate application of consequence systems can be used to effect school culture change

A commitment to improving your school/s and refining your approach to managing behaviour

Evidence of your motivation to support other schools to improve and learn from the experience

An appreciation of how different leadership styles and school contexts may require different approaches to support

An explicit understanding of how the systems, processes and practices in the school have created your school/MAT’s culture of excellent behaviour

A clear understanding of your schools’ behaviour management strengths and areas for improvement

For AP/Special schools, evidence that pupils have high levels of engagement in their education and achieve excellent outcomes



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  1. SPotts

    My school is one of these lead schools. I agree with the idea of schools with exemplary behaviour of supporting others. However, there is a huge issue here and that is the criteria of selection.

    My school was ofsteded 3+ years ago as Outstanding, and since then behaviour has gradually declined. This is echoed by all apart from the leadership team who are over the moon to have another accolade to themselves.

    So if schools such as mine are being select as leaders, then what hope is there of other schools benefitting. The right thing would be to change the selection criteria and maybe only select schools that have been ofsteded in the last year or doing a proper audit of behaviour and staff views on the topic.