New recommendations for ITT behaviour management

Posted by Rosie Neill - Last updated on August 30, 2021

Students miss out on 38 days of teaching a year due to low level disruptive behaviour - Ofsted, 2015.

1/3 schools leaders have thought NQTs were not well prepared for working in a school, with 73% saying this was due to a lack of classroom management skills – NAHT, 2015.

With stats like these, behaviour management is a hot topic in the debate about initial teacher training (ITT) and 2 new reports have recently been published with recommendations for how behaviour management is approached in ITT…

Background - the Carter reviewcarter review of inital teacher training

In January 2015, the Carter review of ITT was published. Conducted by Sir Andrew Carter, Executive Headteacher at South Farnham School in Surrey, the report stated behaviour management training should be an integral part of teacher training.

It reported:

  • ITT course content should have a relentless focus on pupil outcomes (including pupil progress, achievement and well-being)
  • Learning how to manage behaviour effectively is vital for trainees
  • There are “significant gaps” in a range of courses in behaviour management
  • ITT should be seen as initial – providers should develop programmes that will equip trainees well to start out as effective teachers and form the basis for on-going development

Report 1: New government recommendations for ITT behaviour management

Building on findings from the Carter review, the government have just released A framework of core content for initial teacher training (ITT) - see a summary here.

Regarding behaviour management, the framework recommends that:

ITT providers should:

  • Devise opportunities for the practical demonstration and instruction of techniques
  • Prioritise opportunities for trainees to reflect, improve and practise
  • Ensure that trainees are given structured exposure to a variety of classroom contexts
  • Give trainees opportunities to observe best practice

Trainees should:behaviour management in inital teacher training

  • Have an understanding of a variety of strategies for managing behaviour effectively
  • Understand the importance of communicating clear boundaries and high expectations
  • Pre-empt disruptive behaviour
  • Know how to minimise opportunities for disruption
  • Be able to continue a lesson after interruption
  • Understand how to access whole-school support
  • Understand the importance of body language, clear communication, voice tone and vocabulary
  • Practise how to be authoritative and fair
  • Regulate their own emotional disposition

Important to note: the government will not be making behaviour training mandatory as recommended by the report.

Report 2: Developing behaviour management content for ITT

Also published this week was a report by Tom Bennett, Chair of the ITT Behaviour Working Group, titled Developing behaviour management content for initial teacher training (ITT). 

See expert, John Bayley's response to the report and discover his behaviour management tip for teachers ahead of the autumn term here.

Tom claims that the lack of guaranteed behaviour management training is a ‘glaring omission in teacher training’.

He recommends that:

  • ITT should not train teachers to a ‘one size fits all’ behaviour approach
  • Trainees should be taught a range of strategies they can use in the classroom
  • The building of relationships between teachers and students should be encouraged
  • Time in schools should be put aside to give trainees time to think and reflect on how to improve
  • Behaviour training should be delivered by someone with ‘recent’ classroom experience
  • Behaviour training should be revisited throughout the year

Wherever possible we should be training teachers in a practical way. It’s ridiculous to ask someone to learn how to run a classroom through a lecture or a handout.” – Tom Bennett, Chair of the ITT Behaviour Working Group

What do you think about the recommendations for behaviour management? Do you agree that, wherever possible, behaviour management should be taught in a practical way?

Discover advice, resources and videos to help with behaviour management from expert John Bayley in his IRIS Connect group.

See John's response to the report here.

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