New Guidance for Teachers on Classroom Behaviour

Teachers across Forth Valley are being given new guidance to help them deal with low-level inappropriate sexual behaviour in the classroom. The ‘Managing Sexualised Behaviour Guidelines’ have been produced as a response to the sexual health needs of young people in Forth Valley and have been written in consultation with mainstream and special schools, child protection teams and children’s organisations.

NHS Forth Valley Community Sexual Health Educator Joanne Barrie said:

 Whilst all school staff are competent in Child Protection Policy and familiar with local procedures to address abusive or sexually harmful behaviour, they may be less confident in addressing low level sexualised behaviour such as students using inappropriate language.

“The purpose of the document is to support staff, whether in the role of teacher, learning assistant, janitor or administrator, to respond appropriately and consistently. School staff may have a better understanding of the motive for the behaviour as they are able to observe how a young person learns, communicates and responds to interventions. This is particularly important for young people with a learning disability.”

The guidance, which has recently been launched at meetings with head teachers, will be piloted in all schools in Forth Valley from the start of the new academic year in August 2013 for a 12 month period. This will allow time for schools to develop their own systems and see how the new guidance relates to a range of behaviours. Training will be provided jointly by NHS Forth Valley Staff and Council Education Departments, and there will also be input from other relevant agencies such as Barnardo’s and Forth Valley Advocacy.

The need was initially identified for teachers working with young people with additional support needs but was later felt to be appropriate for all schools.