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New paper reflects young people’s views on behaviour and relationships in schools

Children in Scotland has published a summary paper today (1 May) which adds new evidence to the ongoing discussions about behaviour and relationships in schools, drawing directly on the experiences of young people.

The relationships and behaviour summary paper brings together the views of the Inclusion Ambassadors, a group of secondary school-aged pupils who have a range of additional support needs and attend a variety of educational provision across Scotland. The group, delivered by Children in Scotland with support from Enquire , are encouraged to speak freely and openly about their experiences and are supported to contribute to policy consultations and discussions.

This newly-published paper reflects the Inclusion Ambassadors’ views on relationships and behaviour in school and what works for children and young people. Use of positive reinforcement, particularly verbal praise, was identified as impactful for promoting positive relationships and behaviour in schools. The group also shared their views on what contributes to distressed behaviour including unfair expectations, lack of support and stress.

Emphasising the importance of schools approaching communication and inclusion in a progressive way, the group highlighted the need for school staff to take a calm and inclusive approach to supporting all children and young people identifying the often negative impact of shouting and exclusion on pupils.

Based on the views of the Inclusion Ambassadors, Children in Scotland has proposed several recommendations to support professionals working with children and young people. Recommendations include taking a rights-based and child-centred approach to addressing issues relating to behaviour and relationships in school, as well as recognising the positive achievements and decision making of all pupils to support young people to build confidence and make positive choices.

Chris Ross, Policy, Projects and Participation Manager says: “Behaviour and relationships in schools has been a prominent topic in discussions about Scottish education in recent months and it is critical that children and young people’s voices are central to this debate. Drawing on their own experiences, the Inclusion Ambassadors offer a valuable perspective on how the current approach in schools can be improved. We hope the recommendations outlined in the relationships and behaviour summary paper can support the development of policy and practice in this area.”

Click here to read the full summary paper and recommendations

Relationships and behaviour summary

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