Pupil Behaviour Policy

Pupil Behaviour, Reward & Sanction Policy including the use of reasonable force


January 2023

Wendy Burton
Amanda Trevor-Roberts

Pupil Behaviour

Trevor-Roberts believes that in order to create a happy and safe environment, children need to develop good behaviour in all aspects of their school lives. Children should treat one another with dignity, kindness and respect. The positive behaviour practised at school will help pupils to be valuable and constructive members of the wider community.

When there is an expectation of good behaviour, much can be expected from the teaching and learning at the school. Staff, as set out in the Staff Code of Conduct, act as good role models for pupils, setting high standards of behaviour and showing respect and generosity towards their colleagues and the pupils and parents.

Mental Wellbeing

Trevor-Roberts is aware of the importance of mental wellbeing at school. Anxiety can result from uncertainty at home due to marital unhappiness, the increase in academic pressure, social media demands, the legacy of the pandemic and so on. It recognises its responsibility to provide a safe, calm and supportive environment for children, particularly when this might not be possible at home.

“Schools should be a safe and affirming place for children where they can develop a sense of belonging and feel able to trust and talk openly with adults about their problems.” DFE Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools guidance

Children should be able to expect generous and positive behaviour from other children and their teachers and trust that their teachers and the Heads will act quickly if behaviour does not meet this expectation.

Responsibility for behaviour at Trevor-Roberts

The Heads and the Senior Leadership Team make it clear to the staff, parents and pupils that good behaviour is central to the culture and environment of the school. They lead by example and support staff when needed through induction meetings, peer observation groups and professional development. Staff are made aware of the school’s behaviour policy and the school’s expectations during the induction period. TR staff induction information Assemblies and staff meetings provide opportunities for the Heads to discuss and reinforce with different sections of the school community behaviour expectations.

Staff have an important role developing a calm and safe environment for pupils and establishing clear boundaries of acceptable pupil behaviour. In form time, teachers will discuss how the form can support and enhance the school community. They lead by example, modelling good behaviour to pupils and being aware of the school’s aim to create a happy and safe environment. They praise pupil’s good behaviour in order to foster a positive and productive environment. They are given opportunities to discuss children’s behaviour and the school’s expectations in staff meetings and in individual conversations with the Heads or members of the SLT.

Pupils are made aware of the school’s expectations in terms of behaviour and benefit from learning in a supportive and nurturing environment. Senior pupils model good behaviour at new pupils’ first induction morning and are given responsibilities to give them visibility throughout the school. Tutor groups for older pupils and form time in the younger years enable pupils to discuss the importance of kindness, respect and generosity in their community. PSHE lessons offer opportunities to discuss respect, trust and kindness.

Parents have a key role in supporting the school community by encouraging good behaviour at home and in the wider community. Beginning of academic year talks by the Heads for each year group allow an opportunity to discuss the school’s expectations that parents give children responsibility and a sense of self-discipline through homework or organising themselves for the day ahead. The school stresses the importance of good communication between parents and the school in order to support children if they are not finding it easy to behave constructively. Parents are encouraged to let the school know of any home life situation which might lead to inappropriate behaviour and the school will contact parents about negative behaviour being exhibited at school.

Promoting good behaviour

The school believes that good behaviour is developed through

  • maintaining few rules so that judgement about positive behaviour patterns comes from the child

  • modelling good behaviour from the seniors (Primus) as they welcome children into the school at induction and throughout their time at Trevor-Roberts with particular focus on Octavus and Septimus monitors

  • dealing with negative behaviour on an individual basis and explaining to children that learning how to behave positively is part of growing up and a key element of their learning at school. School is the right place to make mistakes.

  • discussion in lessons such as PSHE, RS and through assemblies about positive behaviour and the supportive community that the school values

  • staff mornings three times each week allow staff to discuss children’s behaviour and identify any patterns of behaviour which need to be addressed, particularly if involving any child with SEND or any other protected characteristic

  • discussion on an individual level with pupils about their behaviour may be necessary – these discussions may be with the teacher or with the Heads

  • where appropriate, discussion with parents about unhappiness that has been caused at school by a pupil or pupils’ behaviour

  • academic year talks to parents from the Heads encouraging parents to communicate with the school if their child has expressed concern about another child’s behaviour at school

  • using non-classroom times as an example of the importance of good manners and behaviour, such as pouring water for other people on the dining table

  • ensuring that non-academic staff such as cooks and caretakers are appreciated and respected and that pupils are grateful for their efforts cooking and keeping the buildings safe, clean and tidy

  • using times such as school trips to emphasise the importance of behaving in such a way that takes into consideration members of the public

School Rules

  • children must not bring any type of smartphone to school
  • children in the older years may bring a non-smart phone to school by request of the parent – this must be handed in at the beginning of the day, clearly named, to the school office and collected at the end of the day
  • chewing gum is not permitted at school or any school excursions
  • children should wear the school uniform
  • shoulder length or longer hair should be tied back
  • clothing from the waist down should be comfortable but in good condition and appropriate for working and playing
  • jewellery should be kept to a minimum, chains worn for religious reasons kept inside clothing and earrings limited to studs
  • nail polish must not be worn
  • food containing nuts must not be brought into school

Expectations and routines

The school does not feel it useful to produce lists of expected behaviour. It wishes to have a more dynamic and adaptable culture which instils in children a sense of judgement and innate good manners and behaviour. When children join the school, they enter a community built on respect, kindness and consideration and these behaviours are gradually inculcated in new pupils. However, there are routines which the children are encouraged to support and enjoy.

  • moving around the school with consideration to others
  • listening and contributing constructively and generously in lessons
  • respecting the people who have cooked food and looked after the buildings by taking care of their environment and having basic good manners during mealtimes
  • being kind and fair to those around them
  • enjoying the playground areas and equipment while making sure others are able to do the same
  • being welcoming and helpful to visitors to the school, in the top two forms this includes standing up when visitors enter the classroom
  • taking responsibility and being helpful at home and appreciative of parents and carers efforts to look after the family
  • looking after their equipment, text books, exercise books and uniform and developing an appreciation that these have been provided for them

The above is not an exhaustive list. The routines and expectations are discussed informally by teachers, tutors, one-to-one discussions and assemblies.


In line with the school’s ethos we believe in treating the children as individuals and giving direct and credible praise. Positive comments are most likely to affect children for the better and this is reinforced by written advice and praise in the marking of work. The Digniora system is used to acknowledge formally good work and behaviour. In addition, there are two specific prizes awarded annually and some pupils are appointed ‘Seniors’.

Rewards for good behaviour

The most common form of reward for good behaviour is verbal praise. Teachers praise good behaviour in the classroom and throughout the school in order to model good behaviour for others and give a sense of pride to children who are being constructive and generous members of the community.

A popular form of reward is the sticker! A sticker (preferably smelly) is seen as a quick and flexible way for teachers to reward good behaviour.

After school trips or inter school competitions, good behaviour is recognised in school assemblies by the Head and the teachers running the trips. Of particular note, is feedback of positive comments from members of the public or outside agencies about good behaviour. This is drawn attention to in school assemblies.

With agreement by the Heads, Teachers may use their own rewards system. Children going up the stairs nicely in the younger years may be given a sticker for being ‘star of the stairs’. Some forms use a ‘marble’ as a reward for excellent behaviour. Teachers may let children go at the front of the line if they have been demonstrating good behaviour. Pupils may be given specific responsibilities for good behaviour such as being a monitor.

Digniora Award System

The Digniora award system runs throughout the whole school. A ‘Digniora’ can be awarded to a pupil for a piece of work that reflects a specific effort or noticeable improvement for that particular individual. It is important that the award is not seen as a comparison with any other individual, but the pupil themselves. A piece of work may, for example, be fairly mediocre for the standard in the class, but if it represents material progress for that particular pupil it will be considered for a ‘Digniora’. Staff should avoid giving a digniora to the whole class for a particular exercise that has been undertaken.

Digniora recommendations are written on a piece of paper (or the work if appropriate), signed, dated and with a short comment or description as to why it was deemed ‘more worthy’. The pupil then shows this to the Head and if it is ratified it is marked down in the Digniora file.

Once three Dignioras are obtained a token worth £4 is awarded to the pupil in assembly for his/her Digniora Tria which can be redeemed at a number of local relevant businesses.

Max Adda Friendship Prize

This is a monetary prize that is awarded, at the end of the academic year, to one or more pupils in the school who have shown particular friendship and kindness to the other pupils.

Max Adda was a former pupil who was particularly kind to the people around him. He tragically died while on holiday in Barbados in 1997 and the charity that was set up following his death funds this prize.

Amy Levinson Art Prize

This annual award is given to the pupil or pupils who have made the best contribution in the Art department. It is funded by the Levinsons following their daughter’s success at the school.

The Georgina Terry Cup

This is our only piece of silverware and given with a certain degree of irony to the ‘best’ performance in our in-house Easter Talent Competition.


All the children in the top form are given a degree of responsibility within the school. Specific ‘Seniors’ are appointed and given tasks, playing to their strengths, such as music, art, library, sports and news monitors. This gives the children a sense of their place in the school and encourages them to take charge, help the younger pupils and become more organised.

Primus are asked to help at events such as the new pupil induction morning, parent parties, open evenings and pupil parties.

A Head Boy and Head Girl are chosen each year by the Heads after discussion with the staff.

Discipline and Exclusion

A vital part of the experience of school life for children is testing the boundaries of what is and is not acceptable behaviour in the classroom, during play with other children, and during the school day generally.

We recognise that children will make mistakes in this respect and school is the right place for these to happen, where useful advice about future adult conduct can be given. It is important for children to be aware of the nature of their mistakes; and consideration for others is seen as the benchmark of behaviour.

Matters of discipline will be referred to the Head by the staff as a matter of course and parents will be contacted if it is felt that it is necessary to do so. It is imperative for children to learn a sense of discipline as this underpins not only their academic advancement but also their social happiness.


The school is aware that it can sanction pupils whose conduct falls below the standard which could reasonably be expected of them as set out in DfE Behaviour in Schools January 2022.

The purpose of sanctions is

  • to deter misbehaviour in the future by a particular pupil or other pupils
  • to protect pupils if inappropriate behaviour poses risk
  • to facilitate behaviour improvement
  • to reduce disruption to classes

The imposition of sanctions and providing appropriate support are not mutually exclusive actions. They can occur at the same time if necessary.

If there is a problem with a pupil’s behaviour or work a teacher will choose the most appropriate course of action. This may include:

  • An immediate verbal response to the action which is likely to include a verbal reprimand and a reminder of the expectations of behaviour
  • A gentle explanation to the child as to why the behaviour was unacceptable.
  • The setting of written tasks such as an account of their behaviour
  • If unacceptable behaviour persists, the child may be withdrawn from the activity/group for a short period. The child may, for example, be asked to sit at the side of the playground while the PE lesson is going on until they calm down.
  • If necessary a child may be asked to see another teacher or the Head in order to have a chat or talk through the issue in order to work out how behaviour can be improved and explore why the bad behaviour happened in the first place.

It is expected that the teacher will choose to report very poor or persistently poor behaviour or work to the Head. In most instances the Head will speak to the child and decide further action. This may include a written exercise, may include additional school work or repeating unsatisfactory work until it meets the required standard; the setting of written tasks as sanctions, for example letters of apology or an essay relevant to the poor behaviour; missing a break or possibly staying after school. Any detention would ensure that the child is safe and does not result in a pupil missing caring responsibilities or medical appointments or mealtimes. A conversation with the parents will follow and the child’s behaviour and work will be monitored.

The teacher is responsible in the first instance for dealing with minor infringements, such as lateness, casual rudeness or disruption in class, and late or poorly completed work. They may impose any of the sanctions above such as the setting of additional work or the pupil may be required to re-do unsatisfactory work. Repetition of this behaviour will be reported to the Head.

If a pupil is not responding to the above, a pupil may be put ‘on report’ for a week or possible two weeks. In this case, a report book will be drawn up and teachers asked to comment on behaviour and work for each lesson. At the beginning and end of each day the pupil will take this to the Head and discuss ways forward and where progress is being made. Regular communication with parents will ensure that messages are being reinforced at home. An improvement in behaviour should be noticeable by the end of this period.

If behaviour does not improve or the misbehaviour is more serious a more serious disciplinary sanction such as suspension or permanent exclusion may be necessary. Suspension provides a cooling off period, during which a pupil can reflect on their actions and provides a firm warning that poor behaviour could jeopardise their place at Trevor-Roberts School.

A very serious breach of school discipline such as a wilful act calculated to cause serious damage to the School, its community or any of its members can result in permanent exclusion. Multiple temporary suspensions may also lead to exclusion. The responsibility for suspensions or permanent exclusion rests with the Heads. Full details of how serious disciplinary matters are investigated and adjudicated on are outlined in the School’s Exclusion Policy.

Under no circumstances is corporal punishment or the threat of corporal punishment permitted.


Persistent lateness to lessons will be reported to the Head.

Repeated lateness (following warning and/or sanctions), or repeated indiscipline in class will be reported to the Head and may lead to a supervised detention after school.

Alternative arrangements

Alternative arrangements for sanctions can be considered on a case-by-case basis for any pupil where the school believes an alternative arrangement would be more effective for that particular pupil, based on their knowledge of that pupil’s personal circumstances. The school should have regard to the impact on consistency and perceived fairness overall when considering any alternative arrangements.

In considering whether a sanction is reasonable in all circumstances, the School will consider whether it is proportionate in the circumstances of the case and consider any special circumstances relevant to its imposition including the pupil’s age, any special educational needs or disability they may have, and any religious requirements affecting them.

Unacceptable behaviour

Unacceptable behaviour within this context includes but is not limited to any form of:

  • rudeness
  • vandalism
  • substance misuse
  • racist comments
  • homophobic comments
  • sexist comments
  • sexual violence
  • discrimination or harassment
  • child-on-child abuse
  • verbal aggression
  • physical aggression

This policy should be read in conjunction with the anti-bullying policy, where details regarding identifying bullying and appropriate sanctions are outlined.

Unacceptable behaviour by a child will be dealt with by staff in the following way:

Parents will be informed if we feel that a child’s behaviour is particularly worrying.

School staff and parents will work together to promote appropriate behaviour.

Everybody, including all staff and parents, will be consistent in their approach to behaviour management.

The school will follow these procedures in a way that is appropriate to the maturity of the child and the misdemeanour.

Reasonable force

The school is aware of DFE Use of Reasonable Force Advice for school leaders, staff and governing bodies.

There are circumstances when it is appropriate for staff to use reasonable force to safeguard children. The term ‘reasonable force’ covers the broad range of actions used by staff that involve a degree of physical contact to control or restrain children. ‘Reasonable’ in these circumstances means ‘using no more force than is needed’.

Members of staff have the power to use reasonable force to prevent pupils committing an offence, injuring themselves or others, or damaging property and to maintain good order and discipline at the school or among pupils, whether the behaviour occurs in the classroom or elsewhere.

Headteachers and authorised school staff may also use such force as is reasonable given the circumstances when conducting a search for knives or weapons, alcohol, illegal drugs, stolen items, tobacco, fireworks, pornographic images or articles that they reasonably suspect have been or are likely to be used to commit an offence or cause harm. Force may not be used to search for other items banned under the school rules.

When considering using reasonable force staff should, in considering the risks, carefully recognise any specific vulnerabilities of the pupil, including SEND, mental health needs or medical conditions.

Any incident involving physical intervention must be recorded in writing and referred to the Head as soon as is practicable. The Head, as deemed appropriate, may take the views of witnesses and the child into consideration when investigating the incident.

Parents will be informed of any occasion when physical intervention has had to be used on the same day or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter.

Behaviour incidents online

The way in which pupils relate to one another online could have a significant impact on the culture at school. Pupils receive online safety training in IT lessons, PSHE lessons and in talks from outside speakers to try to prevent negative interactions. Parents are invited to online safety talks and discouraged from allowing children to use screens unless monitored closely by an adult. Parents are given information on useful websites to help to protect children from online harm.

Negative interactions online could damage the school’s culture and can lead to school feeling like an unsafe place. Behaviour issues online can be very difficult to manage given issues of anonymity, and online incidents occur both on and off the school premises. The school is clear that even though the online space differs in many ways, the same standards of behaviour are expected online as apply offline, and that everyone should be treated with kindness, respect and dignity.

Inappropriate online behaviour including bullying, the use of inappropriate language, the soliciting and sharing of nude or semi-nude images and videos and sexual harassment will be addressed in accordance with the same principles as offline behaviour, including following the child protection policy and speaking to the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy) when an incident raises a safeguarding concern.

If an incident involves nude or semi-nude images and/or videos, the member of staff should refer the incident to the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy) as the most appropriate person to advise on the school’s response. Handling such reports or concerns can be especially complicated and the school will follow the principles as set out in Keeping Children Safe in Education.

Breaches of discipline outside of the school

Many online behaviour incidents amongst young people occur outside the school day and off the school premises. Parents are responsible for this behaviour. However, often incidents that occur online could affect the school culture. The school will sanction pupils when their behaviour online poses a threat or causes harm to another pupil, and/or could have repercussions for the orderly running of the school, when the pupil is identifiable as a member of the school or if the behaviour could adversely affect the reputation of the school.

The school takes the conduct of its pupils outside of school grounds extremely seriously. A pupil’s misbehaviour outside of school can be damaging to the reputation of both the pupil and the School. Where an incident is reported to the School of a pupil/s’ poor behaviour outside of the School grounds and the incident has not been witnessed by School staff, the School will take an evidence-based approach and/or talk to witnesses before identifying further action and any sanctions required for such behaviour.

Suspected criminal behaviour

If a member of staff or the Heads suspect criminal behaviour, the school will make an initial assessment as to whether an incident should be reported to the police only by gathering enough information to establish the facts of the case. These initial investigations will be fully documented, and the school will make every effort to preserve any relevant evidence. Once a decision is made to report the incident to police, the school should ensure any further action they take does not interfere with any police action taken. However, the school retains the discretion to continue investigations and enforce its own sanctions so long as it does not conflict with police action.

When making a report to the police, it will often be appropriate to make in tandem a report to local children’s social care. As set out in Keeping children safe in education (KCSIE), it would be expected in most cases that the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy) would take the lead.

Safeguarding and child protection

The school is mindful that misbehaviour may be caused because a pupil is suffering, or is likely to suffer, harm. Where this may be the case as set out in Part 1 of Keeping children safe in education, staff in conjunction with the Heads will follow the TR safeguarding and child protection policy and speak to Wendy Burton, the DSL, or Gemma Fernandes, the DDSL. They should consider if pastoral support, an early help intervention or a referral to children’s social care is appropriate.

Trevor-Roberts is aware of the importance of

  • making clear that child on child abuse/ sexual violence and sexual harassment is not acceptable and will never be tolerated
  • not tolerating or dismissing sexual violence or sexual harassment as ‘banter’, ‘part of growing up’ or ‘just having a laugh’
  • upskirting is a criminal offence
  • the school is aware that even if there are no reports of child on child abuse, it does not mean it is not happening
  • the school’s safeguarding and child protection policy should be referred to and all staff receive annual child protection training.

Pupils with special educational needs and disabled pupils

Particular consideration will be given to those pupils with special educational needs or disability when considering behaviour, discipline and sanctions. The school will take account of special education needs when considering whether or not to exclude a pupil.

Pupils will not be treated less favourably for reasons related to the disability and steps will be taken to ensure this. It might, for example, include short, planned movement breaks for a pupil whose SEND means that they find it difficult to sit still for long periods of time. New staff and current staff will be supported by the Learning Support Co-ordinator in order that they are aware that specific learning difficulties may affect a pupil’s behaviour.

Record keeping and review

The School maintains a register of serious sanctions imposed for serious misbehaviour. This record contains the following information: the pupil’s name and year group; the date and nature of the offence; details of the sanction imposed and by whom. These records are monitored by the Heads. These records are kept so that patterns in behaviour can be identified and to assess the effectiveness of the School’s behaviour management strategies.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the school’s

Search and confiscation policy
Exclusion Policy
Safeguarding and child protection policy
Anti-bullying strategy
ICT and online safety policy
Learning Support policy