Revealed: First 22 lead schools for DfE’s £10m ‘behaviour hubs’ project

phonics autumn

The government has revealed the first 22 schools which will head up its £10 million behaviour hubs initiative.

Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, has also pledged to consult on “how we can help heads remove phones from the school day”.

The behaviour hubs project, led by government behaviour tsar Tom Bennett, aims to support 500 schools which struggle with poor discipline over the next three years. It will begin at the start of the summer term.

The £10 million initiative was originally slated to begin in September last year but was delayed due to the pandemic.

Lead schools and academy trusts will work closely with the schools they are supporting to diagnose what could be improved.

They will also develop and launch new behaviour approaches and policies and provide ongoing mentoring and support.

The DfE said mentoring schools will provide advice on issues ranging from setting clear expectations to eliminate low-level disruption in classrooms, to more systematic approaches to maintaining order and discipline across the school, such as forbidding the use of mobile phones and maintaining quiet corridors.

There will also be “open days” at lead schools where their counterparts can observe good systems and approaches in action.

Williamson this week renewed calls for the “scourge of ever-present mobile phones” to be banned in schools, and pledged to support firm stances on discipline and behaviour.

He had previously called for mobile phone bans to “be the norm” in schools.

Writing in the Telegraph today, Williamson revealed his plan to consult on how to help heads ban phones, along with “other revisions to the behaviour and discipline and exclusion guidance”. The consultation will take place “later in the year”, he said..

‘Disciplined classrooms are best’

Williamson said he would “always support schools taking a firm approach, for example taking action to tackle the scourge of ever-present mobile phones – because I know the positive impact it will have on students’ wellbeing and attainment”.

The behaviour hubs programme will run on a termly basis, with lead schools and MATs forming hubs with two different supported schools each term.

Schools taking part in the programme will also have access to training on common problems and effective approaches led by Bennett.

The behaviour tsar said: “Every school can, with assistance, be safe, calm places where everyone is treated with dignity, and students and staff can learn and flourish together.”

The DfE said the programme will expand next year, with further lead schools and MATs appointed to support more schools.


Behaviour hubs lead schools: The full list

Throckley Primary School, Newcastle upon Tyne

Sedgefield Community College, Durham

Carmel College, Darlington

Tor View School, Lancashire

Evelyn Street Community Primary School, Warrington

Dixons Trinity Academy, Bradford

Painsley Catholic College, Staffordshire

Witham St Hughs Academy, Lincolnshire

Keyham Lodge School, Leicester

Perryfield Primary Pupil Referral Unit – Worcestershire

Saint Augustine’s Catholic High School, Worcestershire

Bedford Free School, Bedford

Oak Bank School, Bedfordshire

Chepping View Primary Academy, Buckinghamshire

Ashmole Academy, Barnet

St Gregory’s Catholic Science College, Brent

Charles Dickens Primary School, Southwalk

Lyons Hall Primary School, Essex

Maiden Erlegh Trust, Wokingham

The Limes College – Alternative Learning Trust, Sutton

Glenmoor Academy, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Polegate School, East Sussex

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  1. Secondary school’s wanting to apply were restricted on the basis of % of Ebacc entries which I find bizarre and absurd.

    Can somebody tell me how behaviour and % Ebacc entries are related?

  2. Glyn Hambrook

    More signs that Gavin Williamson sees a school as a kind of camp of corrective concentration and ideological indoctrination rather than an educational institution. He seems always to be motivated by spite and resentment rather than intelligence. And what evidence is there behind his fixation with mobile phones?

  3. Stuart

    Can’t for the life of me figure out why it’s going to cost £10M to stop kids bringing phones to school and tell them to sit down, shut up and do as they are told!
    I think the government has wasted more than enough of our money over the last year

    • Funnily enough one of the local schools here is a new behaviour hub lead school. They are part of a MAT that has a monopoly on local (within the city and surrounding areas) secondary schools. My child goes to another school in the city in the MAT and her phone is again a vital tool used in lessons.

  4. Barry Adams

    Interesting. My students use their mobile phone as the tool that the phones are. They either research or photograph and record their work using their phones. It improves their exam outcome and in general they view the use of the phone in this context as a privilege granted.
    Use of the mobile phone as a distraction or in the wide variety of disciplinary subversions is the consequence of one thing: poor staff/student relationship and poor senior management of those relationships, aka teaching and teacher management.
    The need for a student to phone home for support to avoid discipline is a wider societal issue and requires specific teaching skills for the school’s context. The state of society that feeds the school is the consequence of government, not education.

  5. Arthur Livsey

    I am assuming Peter that you are referring to Dixons. Yet despite such negative comments, all of their pupils, including very large numbers from areas of extreme disadvantage, do remarkably well year on year.
    Why can’t it just be accepted that there are a wide range of ways in which schools can be run very successfully? Theirs is one. It mightn’t be everyone’s cup of tea but their levels of oversubscription suggest that they are well liked and respected by thousands of families.
    What is true is that without excellent standards of behaviour schools are built on clay feet. And if all schools ensured that less advantaged children achieved in line with Dixons’ least advantaged then our country’s economy, prosperity, fairness and true levels of social mobility would be transformed.

  6. Patrick Obikwu

    A SCHOOL is first and foremost a place for LEARNING. Fundamental to effective learning is RESPECT and DISCIPLINE. Without respect and discipline there is no SAFETY. Without safety there can no learning, much less effective learning, no matter how great or excellent a teacher may be. No enthusiastic teacher is eager to go into a school to be insulted, disrespected, or physically or verbally assaulted. No parent is happy to send their child(ren) to a school where they are likely to experience physical and or verbal assault. No child, no matter how intelligent or gifted, can be happy or learn effectively in a school if he or she is in constant fear in a school. Misbehaviour or disruption or unruly behaviour is simply lack of respect and lack of discipline. A school is not a ZOO. QED.