First 22 lead schools for DfE’s £10m ‘behaviour hubs’ project revealed

The first lead schools for the Department for Education’s (DfE) £10m new ‘behaviour hubs’ project have been revealed with heads and behaviour leads from some of England’s highest performing schools and Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) confirmed as mentors and trainers.

The programme has so far seen 22 schools and two multi academy trusts from secondary, primary, special and alternative provision selected as leads in the programme, it has also seen the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson call for mobile phones to be banned in schools as he pledges to support heads taking a firm stance on discipline and behaviour.

The programme will run on a termly basis, with lead schools and MATs forming hubs with a different two supported schools each term. The programme will expand next year, with further lead schools and MATs appointed to support more schools to help reach the target of 500 supported schools over the three-year programme.

The Behaviour Hubs will commence from the start of the summer term, at a time when a minority of pupils may need extra support from their schools to re-engage with education following the pandemic and will work closely with the schools they are supporting to diagnose what could be improved, develop and launch new behaviour approaches and policies and provide ongoing mentoring and support.

Lead schools will advise their counterparts on issues ranging from setting clear expectations to eliminate low-level disruption in classrooms that is damaging to teachers and other pupils, to more systematic approaches to maintaining order and discipline across the school, such as forbidding the use of mobile phones and maintaining quiet corridors.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Behaviour and discipline are the cornerstone to so much of what defines this country’s most successful schools.

“Whether it’s supporting some of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged children with the routines and structures needed to help them fulfil their potential, or helping prepare young people for the expectations of the workplace, parents and teachers know that orderly and disciplined classrooms are best.

“That is why I will always support schools taking a firm approach, for example taking action to tackle the scourge of ever-present mobile phones – because I know the positive impact it will have on students’ wellbeing and attainment.”

There will be open days at lead schools to observe good systems and approaches in action as well as hub networking events and online forums for schools to share experiences.

Tom Bennett, lead behaviour advisor to the DfE said: “It’s been a real honour to recruit some of the best schools in the country to offer their support to other schools who want to refocus on behaviour and culture. Every school can, with assistance, be safe, calm places where everyone is treated with dignity, and students and staff can learn and flourish together.

“We know that some schools are further towards that ideal than others, and many more that can, and only need direction from those who have walked the path before them.

“The Hubs project is designed to start reasonably modestly, build a model that works, and then expand into a size and shape that supports more schools that need it. This has the capacity to make a real and substantial difference to the lives of futures of many thousands of children and families and I cannot wait to see it develop.”

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