Principles

East London Science School holds the highest expectations of all pupils, irrespective of their ability or background. This is built into the fabric of the school, as made clear in the ELSS vision statement. Central to the idea of scholarly behaviour is the high aspirations pupils have of themselves. Staff at ELSS expect all pupils to work extremely hard to achieve highly, both within their time at the school and throughout their future lives. Pupils’ efforts should always be concentrated on the quality and quantity of work they are producing. No pupil comes to the school ‘ready-made’, so it is the staff who are required to lead by example; modelling what scholarly behaviour looks like at ELSS.

The following policy outlines measures in place in order to:

  • Promote good behaviour, self-discipline, manners, politeness and respect;
  • Ensure all pupils complete assigned work to the best of their ability.

This policy has been written in accordance to the following national guidelines and education law:

  • Behaviour and Discipline in schools, Advice for head teachers and school staff, Department for Education, January 2016
  • The Education and Inspections Act, 2006

The following policies also refer to the behaviour of pupils and the role of staff at ELSS and can be found on the school website:

Pupil Expectations

Good discipline is essential to ensure that all pupils can benefit from the opportunities provided by the education offered at ELSS. An ELSS pupil should be a young person who is knowledgeable, hard-working, polite, well mannered, and one who speaks to staff in a formal manner.

The following categories of expectations provide a clear guide as to how an ELSS pupil should conduct themselves both in and out of school:

Arrival at the beginning of the day

Pupils will be greeted at the front door between 08:00 and 08:30 by a senior member of staff who will check uniform. If pupils fail to meet the strict expectations of the ELSS Uniform Policy then sanctions will be imposed. The Principal has the authority to send pupils home if they are not wearing the correct uniform.

Lateness is not tolerated at ELSS for any reason. There are no exceptions. It is expected that parents phone the school office if pupils are likely to be late, but sanctions (e.g late detention with HoY) will still be applied.

Classroom expectations

Pupils are expected to adhere to the following expectations in the classroom:

  • Arrive to class on time;
  • Line up without talking and enter room as directed to do so by your teacher;
  • Stand up when member of staff or visitor enters the room;
  • You are to be seated by your teacher;
  • When participating in lessons, hands up, wait for your turn and no calling out;
  • Complete all work to highest standard;
  • All classwork should be titled, dated and well presented;
  • Stay in your seat unless directed to do otherwise by the teacher;
  • Do not leave the room unless directed to do so by the teacher;
  • Wear the correct uniform at all times;
  • Keep the desk and classroom tidy;
  • Speak to all staff and visitors in a calm, respectful and polite manner;
  • If leaving the classroom pack up and stand behind chairs in silence and leave in an orderly manner when told to do so by the teacher;
  • Technology is to be used for educational purposes only, if and when directed by the teacher;
  • No chewing gum anywhere;
  • No eating in lessons;

Expectations around the school site

Pupils are expected to adhere to the following expectations whilst moving around the school site:

  • A calm and swift transition between sites;
  • Respect other pupils, their work and belongings;
  • You will be expected to line up in silence when requested to do so;
  • When moving around the school, walk calmly, keeping to the left and holding doors open;
  • Be polite and helpful to pupils, staff and visitors to the school;
  • All pupils will be expected to look after the environment by helping remove litter and maintaining a high standard of cleanliness.
  • Use appropriate and formal language when talking to pupils and staff;
  • Wear the correct uniform at all times;
  • Do not leave the building unless directed to do so by a member of staff;
  • Do not use the lift;
  • Do not enter classrooms without a teacher present;
  • Keep the toilets clean and tidy;

When on the green, stay in the designated area and do not use any of the play equipment apart from the table tennis tables.

Expectations when travelling to and from ELSS

Pupils must be aware that school rules still apply on the way to and from the school. ELSS pupils wear a distinctive uniform so they are easily recognised in public.

The following expectations are for the travel to and from school:

  • Arrive at school promptly before 08.30;
  • Wear your uniform with pride;
  • Adhere to the school behaviour expectations when travelling to and from school; sanctions still apply;
  • Be polite and courteous to members of the public, especially on public transport;
  • Be polite and courteous to pupils and staff from other local schools.

Expectations for Uniform and Equipment

At ELSS we pride ourselves on our smart, striking uniform. Our separate policy on school uniform is based on the notion that school uniform:

  • promotes a sense of pride in the school;
  • engenders a sense of community and belonging towards the school;
  • is practical and smart;
  • identifies the children with the school;

High standards of presentation are required at all times when wearing the school uniform. Whenever the school uniform is worn, it must be complete and not mixed with non-uniform clothing. This includes when travelling to and from school.

If pupils fail to meet the strict expectations of the ELSS Uniform Policy then sanctions will be imposed. Pupils’ uniform will be checked on entry to the school. The Principal has the authority to send pupils home if they are not wearing the correct uniform.

It is imperative that pupils are well organised and bring the correct equipment to school. Equipment lists will be issued to parents and pupils at the beginning of the school year through the Heads of Year. Sanctions will be applied for pupils who fail to bring the correct equipment to school.

We want all of our children to have a high quality uniform and equipment. If parents have difficulties in purchasing or affording uniform or equipment, they should contact the school office straight away in order for a meeting to be arranged with the Principal.

Expectations when not in uniform

Pupils must understand that their behaviour before or after school, during weekends or holidays can lead to a sanction at ELSS if it is deemed that:

  • the behaviour could have repercussions for the orderly running of the school;
  • the pupil poses a threat to another pupil or member of the public;
  • the behaviour could adversely affect the reputation of the school.

Prohibited Items

The expectation is that none of the following are in a pupil’s possession. Note, this list is not exhaustive:

  • Knives and weapons
  • Alcohol
  • Illegal drugs
  • Stolen items
  • Tobacco and cigarette papers
  • Fireworks
  • Inappropriate images
  • Any article that has been or is likely to be used to commit an offence, cause personal injury or damage to property.

High-level sanctions will be issued by the Principal to pupils found in possession of any of these items.

Retaliation

It is often a point of conflict between the school, pupils and/or parents regarding the right to retaliate if a child is provoked. It is important to understand that under any circumstances, we do not accept pupils’ right to retaliate.  Retaliation is completely unacceptable and will be treated as an incident in itself, regardless of the nature of the provocation.

This is a fundamental principle in our behaviour policy, allowing the school to deal with incidents quickly and decisively.

The role of the staff

All staff should have the highest expectations of each and every pupil. Staff have statutory authority to discipline pupils whose behaviour falls below the standard which is expected of them, who fail to produce work of a high enough standard, or who fail to follow a reasonable instruction.

Staff at ELSS are responsible for the following:

A consistent approach to behaviour management;

  • The modelling of good behaviour;
  • Classroom management protocols;
  • The issuing of sanctions;
  • Liaison with parents;
  • Recording and monitoring incidents on Schoolpod;
  • Monitoring attendance and punctuality;
  • Upholding the uniform policy.

At the discretion of Principal, staff also have the power to:

  • Use reasonable force;
  • Search pupils’ clothing and bags (without consent) for prohibited items;
  • Confiscate pupils’ property;
  • Discipline pupils even when traveling to and from school;
  • Discipline pupils while on school visits or residentials;
  • Impose a detention outside of school hours (e.g. Saturday).

Only the Principal of a school can exclude a pupil (either fixed-term or permanent) and this must be on disciplinary grounds.

The following list provides examples of behaviours that could lead to an exclusion. Note, this list is not exhaustive:

  • Physical assault against a pupil or adult;
  • Extreme defiance to a member of staff;
  • Verbal abuse/threatening behaviour against a pupil or adult;
  • Sexual misconduct;
  • Possession of prohibited items;
  • Damage to school property;
  • Theft;
  • Arson;
  • Persistent disruptive behaviour;
  • Behaviour likely to bring the school into disrepute;
  • Malicious allegations against a member of staff.

If a pupil is affected by a behaviour incident, it is important that they are supported in a way deemed appropriate by the HoY/SLT including some of the following ways:

  • Offering a prompt opportunity to discuss the experience with a member of staff
  • Reassurance and providing a space for them to work,
  • Informing parents/guardians,
  • If appropriate, a restorative meeting should be organised.
  • If a behaviour incident has affected a member of staff, or member of the public, if appropriate, a meeting between the parties should occur at an appropriate time.

The school has a linked Newham Safer Schools Officer and has an information sharing agreement with the Police. The Principal has the right to report specific incidents to the Police that are criminal in nature. The Principal receives a regular briefing by the police regarding any incidents that occur outside of school that are linked to ELSS pupils, or, that may affect the safety of pupils within the school.

The role of Parents/Guardians

The ELSS scholarly behaviour policy is advertised to the whole school so that staff, parents and pupils are aware of high expectations at the school. Sanctions are applied by staff in accordance with the policy and are issued by professionals, without prejudice.

It is important to be aware that parental consent is not required for detentions, although the school will endeavour to inform parents as soon as possible. Please be aware that pupils can be kept in detention up to 17:30 on any weekday, including the same day an incident has occurred.

If a pupil is on a report card or behaviour plan, we expect parents to monitor and sign on a weekly basis. Regular contact is expected to be made between the parent and the form tutor/HoY or designated member of SLT.

If on occasion, pupils and parents do not agree with the reason for a sanction being applied, it is still the expectation of the school that the pupil complies with the sanction given. The school is happy to arrange a meeting with the Head of Year or a member of SLT to discuss any concerns regarding these matters, but our hope is that parents will support the decisions made by the school and work with us to get the best out of our pupils. If parents are still not satisfied with an outcome, they should arrange an appointment with the Principal. A copy of the complaints procedure can be found on the school website.

None of the above affects your rights. It has been written in accordance to DfE guidelines Jan 2016.

Rewards

The ethos of academic achievement at ELSS is built upon the foundation of hard work. The expectation is that pupils grasp the importance of an excellent attainment, attendance, punctuality and behaviour record without the need for specific incentives.

Every half term the school runs a series of academic and or sporting competitions that pupils compete for in their Houses. At the end of the year, the winning house is presented with a trophy at Prize Giving. There are a number of other important ways in which staff can reward pupils for effort and achievement:

Half-Termly

Subject badges for attainment in tests or improved results

Annually

Subject prizes, Whole School Prizes and Governor Prizes for high attainment or substantial improvement in results. These are given out at our annual Prize Giving Celebration

Sanctions

The first and most important method of dealing with a behaviour incident is to model positive behaviour with the pupil. In conjunction with this, staff use the following sanctions to deal with varying degrees of misdemeanour:

  • A reprimand by a teacher;
  • The confiscation of items e.g Mobile Phone;
  • Loss of privileges e.g Sports fixture;
  • Class teacher detention 40mins;
  • Head of year detention 60mins;
  • Use of an essay or lines as punishment;
  • SLT detention 60mins;
  • Book check for quality and quantity of work 4.30-5.30;
  • Community service e.g. litter duty;
  • Report card – Tutor/HoY/Behaviour Plan;
  • Specific length of time in remove room;
  • Saturday Detention (one every half term);
  • Fixed-term external exclusion;
  • Permanent exclusion.

The following paragraphs provide more detail and context to the sanctions used by staff at ELSS.

Detentions

The school building at the Clock Mill is open from 08:00 through to 17.30. Detentions are allowed to be set during this time without specific notice. Parental consent is not required for detentions although it is courteous to phone and explain the reason for the detention with parents.

Remove Room

The Remove Room should be used as a last resort before exclusion or when a pupil’s behaviour is persistently disrupting teaching or other pupils’ learning. The remove room is manned by a member of staff and strict rules apply to the standard of pupils’ behaviour and work. Pupils should only return to lessons if it is clear that they understand the reasons for the sanction and show remorse for any distress they have caused. Pupils who are removed to work in isolation automatically go on a HoY report card. If pupils misbehave while in the room, they are at serious risk of exclusion. Parents are informed of their son/daughters time in isolation.

Behaviour Plan

Pupils who are at risk of a permanent exclusion are placed on a Behaviour Plan. This home-school agreement monitors their behaviour, quality and quantity of work in order to demonstrate progress on a number of strict and quantifiable targets. Regular meetings with the pupil, parent and Vice-Principal occur.

Alternative Provision

The principal also has the power to direct pupils off-site for education in order to help improve their behaviour. More information regarding the use of Alternative Provision can be found in Alternative provision, Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities, DfE, 2013.

Behaviour Inclusion Unit

East London Science School has set up its own Inclusion Unit for pupils at risk of permanent exclusion. Pupils are referred by SLT and HoYs and undertake an intensive half termly course focusing on core subjects and addressing concerns regarding behaviour, attendance, uniform and attitude to work. A separate policy will be produced for the launch of the Unit in September 2017.

Fixed-Term Exclusion

Only the head teacher of a school can exclude a pupil (either fixed-term or permanent) and this must be on disciplinary grounds due to a serious breach of the behaviour policy. A fixed-term exclusion would normally be between 1 and 5 days, but in exceptional circumstances, it could be up to 45 days within any one school year. Work should be set for exclusions through the HoY. Parents are informed by telephone and formally in writing. For a fixed period exclusion of more than five school days, the governing body must arrange suitable fulltime education for any pupil of compulsory school age. This provision must begin no later than the sixth day of the exclusion.

It is important that after a period of fixed-term exclusion that the Principal and/or Vice-Principal meet with the parents and pupil in order to plan for their re-integration back into school.

Once a pupil accumulates a total of 15 days exclusion in one term or 45 days in the school year, a governors’ disciplinary hearing will be convened to consider the circumstances of the exclusion and to make recommendations to the Principal. The parents and pupil are expected to attend.

Permanent Exclusion

The principal may decide that permanent exclusion is necessary. This may include, but is not limited to one or more of the following:

  • All other steps to encourage the pupil to obey the school rules have failed;
  • Allowing the pupil to remain in school would be seriously detrimental to the education or welfare of others in the school;
  • Persistent defiant behaviour.
  • Bullying, including homophobic or racist bullying.
  • Serious actual or threatened violence against a pupil or member of staff,
  • Sexual misconduct,
  • Possession, supply or use of an illegal drug,
  • Carrying a weapon.

The Principal must apply the civil standard of proof, (i.e. ‘on the balance of probabilities’ it is more likely than not that a fact is true) rather than the criminal standard of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.

If the Principal recommends a permanent exclusion, the Chair of Governors and the Local Authority are informed immediately.

The local authority must arrange suitable full-time education for the pupil to begin no later than the sixth day of the exclusion. This will be the pupil’s ‘home authority’ in cases where the school is maintained by (or located within) a different local authority.

A governors’ disciplinary panel will be convened and the parents, pupil and school will be expected to attend. Parents have the opportunity to make representations to the governing body about the exclusion.

The governors can either:

  • Uphold the permanent exclusion
  • Reinstate the pupil

If the Governors uphold the decision to exclude, the parents can request a review by an independent Review Panel.

Where parents believe that the exclusion constitutes disability discrimination under the Equality Act 2010, they may make a claim to the First-tier Tribunal. A claim to the Tribunal may be in addition to, or as an alternative to, a request for an IRP. The governing body must notify the parents of their right to ask for an IRP and their right to request that an SEN expert is appointed to attend the review. The governing body must also notify parents of their right to make a claim to the First-tier Tribunal on the grounds of disability discrimination.

Following its review the Independent Review Panel can decide to:

  • uphold the exclusion decision;
  • recommend that the governing body reconsiders their decision, or
  • quash the decision and direct that the governing body considers the exclusion again.

If the Governors reinstate a pupil, the parents and pupil will met the Principal on the next school day after the hearing. A programme of re-integration will be agreed to ensure that all involved do their best to achieve a successful return to school.