How many times have we heard someone say “a good smack never did us any harm?" or “when we were naughty at school, we used to get the cane!”
Well fortunately, that was outlawed when the government in the UK introduced the Education Act in 1986 which abolished corporal punishment in state schools.
Behaviour plans, risk assessments and positive handling plans are often devised and reviewed by certain staff. I have visited so many provisions where I have been told not everyone needs to be aware of these documents and it is only shared on a “need to know basis”… My response is always the same, if an adult is working with that child, they need to know.
Consider all the staff that work with that pupil, whether its before and after school, breaktimes, lunch times, not only the staff who work with the child during lessons. The approach needs to be the same all round and it is imperative that everyone is working alongside that legal documentation as this informs what works, what doesn’t, what approaches to take, what not to. This documentation is in place to help the child as well as the staff team and professionals should work together along with the child in order to revise the plans after a significant incident.
After a physical intervention, I have heard so many professionals commenting that a child is being rewarded, by being given a drink of squash or given a biscuit. Well the truth is a child can get extremely thirsty and their blood sugar levels often drop, therefore this isn’t a treat, but in fact a necessity. For me it is essential that everyone has an understanding of this and the reasons why.
On our behaviour management courses, we cover legalities, calm approaches, diversion and de-escalation techniques, positive listening, how to support one another, table top activities, look at relevant models and if required, physical interventions amongst many other things.
Personally, I enjoy doing courses with a handful of people, but in reality, it is so much more beneficial if everyone who works with the child is trained together and all reading from the same page and use that person centred approach instead of a one size fits all old fashioned theory.
If it was your loved one being cared for in a provision like this, surely you would want the very best for them?