Sir Alan Speaks to Thurrock Heads

HEADS and teachers from a wide range of Thurrock schools were given a lesson in behaviour and attendance issues non Friday (22 January).

Thurrock’s Behaviour and Attendance partnerships were launched at the event in the Culver Centre, South Ockendon where the keynote speaker was Sir Alan Steer, sometimes called the Government’s “behaviour tsar”.

A former head of Seven Kings School in Ilford, Sir Alan’s 2005 and April 2009 reports have led Government policy and guidance.

On Friday he told an audience of head teachers, teachers and health professionals that “being tough” was not enough. Combating poor behaviour in schools also needed intelligence and even “that’s no good without a dollop of love”.

He added: “The quality of learning, teaching and behaviour in schools are inseparable issues and the responsibility of all staff.”

Cllr Sue MacPherson, Thurrock’s Cabinet member for Children’s Services, told the conference: “Today is something special, the start of change. We must make sure that everyone knows attendance is everybody’s business and behaviour is everybody’s business and we must be able to identify those that need help.”

She added: “We at the council have aspirations for Thurrock. We will work to raise aspirations and not just with children, but with families too.

“We want people to be proud to live in Thurrock. We have much going for us, there are major and positive developments, new jobs are being created, there’s DP World and the Royal Opera House has chosen Thurrock.

“There’s much to be proud of.”

She said: “By having Sir Alan Steer here today shows we mean business, but we can’t do it alone. We need to work together, working in effective partnerships.”

As well at Sir Alan ― author of Learning Behaviour, whose recommendations have been enshrined in law ― the conference heard from Guy Naylor, an ex secondary school head and partnership lead in Essex; and Margaret Bleet, the National Strategy’s regional advisor for behaviour and attendance.

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