Our goal in guiding students behaviour is to enable our service to make manifest its philosophy of Education Through Creativity. Our service employs behaviour guidance techniques designed to respect the rights and dignity of all children in our care and to assist them to develop skills to successfully resolve conflicts and to self regulate their behaviour.
The service has a duty of care to provide a safe environment which protects the emotional and physical health of all children. We recognise the range of age groups and developmental needs of children in school-age care and seek to approach behaviour guidance with consistency and consideration for the uniqueness of each child. The service promotes collaborative approaches to behaviour guidance between the service’s stakeholders in line with the following legislation and standards:
- ACT Children and Young People Act 2008
- Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010. Sections 166, 167
- Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011: Regulations 73, 74, 155, 156, 157, 168(2)(j)
- National Quality Standard, Quality Area 5: Relationships with Children
CONTEXTS AFFECTING BEHAVIOUR
The service recognises that a child’s behaviour may be affected by their:
- Age and development.
- General health and wellbeing.
- Play and learning environments, which includes the physical indoor/outdoor settings, the weather, the time of year, the time of day.
- Staff caregiving strategies and how they are implemented.
- Relationships with their family, school, peer group, volunteers, visitors.
- External factors such as media coverage of traumatic events.
Our ongoing relationships with both students and their families mean we can often recognise and ‘head off’ behavioural issues as, or before, they occur; ultimately addressing them in the positive and nurturing context of a long term, caring relationship.
While staff are aware and respectful of individual children’s and families backgrounds and beliefs, it may be necessary to balance the individual needs of stakeholders with staff knowledge of developmentally appropriate and current best practice recommendations from recognised authorities.
UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
The service identifies the following behaviour management strategies as unacceptable under any circumstances:
- The use of physical punishment.
- The use of humiliation, intimidation or negative labelling.
- The use of other forms of unreasonable discipline laid out in Section 741 of the Children and Young People’s Act 2008.
OUR SERVICE’S BEHAVIOUR GUIDANCE STRATEGIES
All staff use our behaviour guidance strategies consistently across the service to empower children to recognise, manage and learn from their behaviours and express their emotions in positive, non-threatening and productive ways. Facilitators, as the educators responsible for delivering our programs, have the greatest opportunity to apply (and to supervise the successful application by Assistants) of the following practical strategies.
PREPARE – Preempt disruptive behaviours by planning.
ENGAGE – create connection to maximise your influence/authority:
SUPERVISE – maintain awareness of students at all times:
REASON – stay calm and explain:
INSIST, PERSIST & INFORM – where disruptive, uncooperative or negative behaviours occur:
EXTREME BEHAVIOURS – in the face of violent, aggressive, abusive or uncontrolled behaviours act quickly to minimise harm.
BEHAVIOUR GUIDANCE PLANS- managing long term issues:
- When a child displays continuous unacceptable behaviour the Facilitator will observe, monitor and record the child’s behaviour while respectfully and sensitively gathering information from the parents; hopefully revealing some facts as to why the child is behaving in an unacceptable way.
- The Facilitator and the Sheriff will privately consult with the parents and work together to develop a positive BEHAVIOUR GUIDANCE PLAN (available in FORMS folder) that is suitable for the child while at home and during attendance at the service.
- The Facilitator and Sheriff, in consultation with the Senior Executive, will develop a written BEHAVIOUR GUIDANCE PLAN detailing specific strategies and time frames that staff will put into practice immediately. This BEHAVIOUR GUIDANCE PLAN will be discussed with the child’s parent/s.
- Should the BEHAVIOUR GUIDANCE PLAN be ineffective based on the time frames decided by the Facilitator, Sheriff and Senior Executive, the parent will be required to seek outside professional support. The Senior Executive will support the parent/s through this process.
- If all behaviour guidance strategies have been exhausted and the child is demonstrating aggressive behaviour, causing physical or emotional harm or distress to any child or staff member, or causing continuous disruption to the delivery of the programs the Senior Executive will meet with the family to inform them that their child will be required to have some time away from the service while outside professionals are consulted.