Trauma informed positive behavior Policy

Educate U are proud to be a Trauma Informed School (TiS). For us this means that we aim to have TiS approaches at the core of our whole school ethos and across our whole setting. We have specialist staff who will support students through therapy and mindfulness.

Due to the vulnerable nature of our children, we will ensure we deliver information on an individual and small group basis, working with all our students to help them to understand the social, emotional and legal aspects that are associated.

We aim to enable students to experience challenges, succeed in their learning, and have a sense that learning can be fun and relevant to their lives. To become independent and enthusiastic learners with a willingness to take risks. From the earliest opportunity, students will be encouraged to build tolerance, make good choices and take responsibility in readiness for them taking their place in society. Children will gain a sense of pride through social learning and positive experiences as part of the ethos of our school. We are able to promote and help our students to understand their emotions, to apply thinking between feeling and action, and to increasingly show empathy and understanding to others.

Being a Trauma Informed School is a dynamic, developmental approach to working with children that supports their emotional and social wellbeing. It is based on the latest research in neuroscience, attachment theory and child development, drawing on research into the role of creativity and play in developing emotional resilience. Knowledge of social and emotional learning supports the school in planning experiences, activities and opportunities and reinforces our understanding that learning happens across the whole day, especially during break times where less structured interactions enable students to develop their social and emotional learning and apply skills that are vital for healthy development. We recognise that it is important for adults to understand where a child is in terms of their mental and emotional health and this approach supports staff with how to differentiate their relationship with children in order to support their development. It also gives basic guidance so that some change can be made through understanding where the child is functioning from and practical activities, which facilitate the development of this relationship. As part of this, the school also has access to a comprehensive and flexible reporting tool for tracking change over time, for both individuals and groups of students. Learning to be skilful in relationships and ready for challenges requires experiencing, descriptive feedback, reflection, modelling and teaching from adults and peers. Addressing early emotional developmental needs builds resilience, decreases the risk of mental illness, prepares children to take their place within a community and equips them to be ready and willing to learn. Life events can introduce episodes, which become interruptions to some children’s development.

The TiS programme supports adults in creating a differentiated provision in response to need with reparative strategies as part of systematic actions. With a programme of continuous development, our vision is for all our staff to receive regular training and to use this insight to build healthy development, encourage students to increasingly self-regulate and embed strategies in social and emotional learning and positive behaviour choices, therefore underpinning academic progress.

Our school environment and work practices offer supportive programmes for students in a variety of ways across the school day. Approaches to developing positive behaviours:-High quality, differentiated education which involves students, builds on success, ensures progression, involves and informs parents; Recognised and planned for social, emotional and academic learning with explicit feedback across the day, within the classroom alongside academic learning and during transitions and break times;

Tracking folders to record success and to plan for the future. Programmes of PSHE, (Personal, Social, Health Education) and Enrichment programs are used to provide rich opportunities which are part of all areas of school life and learning.

We encourage children to manage their feelings and separate feelings and actions to enable thinking to take place between the two. We enable children to take responsibility for themselves and their actions in age appropriate ways. To provide opportunities to reflect on incidents (where behaviour choices that are against our agreed expectations) as an opportunity for learning, both for students involved and for adults planning next steps. Where a need is identified, for structured, tailored, group and individual programmes, creative activities and outdoor learning to be incorporated into action plans. Any plan of action is agreed and shared in a working partnership with child, staff, parents and carers;

We offer appropriate scaffolded support to ensure our students can manage within boundaries that are recognised as fair and consistent for all. We Vary groups and work with different members in our school community to build tolerance and inclusion. The way we reinforce positive behaviour choices are based on our positive, clear and consistent responses within boundaries that offer safe containment.

Supporting students appropriately may require adults to develop and employ new skills and/or strategies. Students need to know explicitly what behaviour is expected in different circumstances. Adults to be observant, open and inclusive, act as role models, particularly in how respect is shown, and co-regulators as needed. We reward positive behaviour, challenge inappropriate behaviour and set achievable targets for development.

All staff receive training on positive approaches to care and control issues. (Dynamis training) the training is bespoke to our needs delivering  a tailored course for our school team which is based on National Level Guidance on the Management of Challenging /Distressed Behaviour combined with a tried-and-tested programme of crisis communications and including last-resort physical alternatives for where word alone fail and when safety needs to be re-established in a situation.

We work with our young people to promote positive behaviours through The Educate U Core behaviours which include acting with integrity at all time, challenging injustice at all levels and listening to what others say about us and being prepared to change. In addition to this we use a Social Learning Theory approach; this advocates the importance of learning from observation and imitating role models.

We use a Reflective therapeutic model using these models in conjunction with each other will allow for the young person to improve social learning, raise self-esteem and eliminate fears. The reflective part of the process will allow the young person to explore the ‘Why and the How to change’ as they make their way through life. It is important that all young people moved into adult life equipped to deal with life’s challenges in a positive and constructive way.

In certain situations, it is lawful for a staff member to use reasonable force e.g. in self-defence or to prevent a breach of the peace. The degree and force used must be reasonable not inappropriate or excessive and kept to the minimum to prevent harm or injury. All restraints are logged in detail and Ofsted and Social Services are informed. All processes are monitored by the Headteacher.  It is a legal requirement to receive training in Control and Restraint. The staff will encourage and support positive behaviour from the young people, this will encourage positive relationships and will enable the staff to respond when inappropriate or negative behaviours form young people are displayed, having built solid relationships should allow the staff to be constructive and proactive in their approach. All staff will be familiar and converse with the Behaviour Management Policy and Procedure including permissible sanction and interventions. Staff should help young people develop acceptable behaviour through communication, negotiation and consistency of approach. This will be aided through the use of reactive planning and negotiation with the young person. Staff should demonstrate an appropriate balance when making decisions they should consider the needs of the individual, the needs of the resident group, the protection of others, including the public from harm. All of our young people will be treated with empathy and without favouritism. This applies to the young people, parents/carers and other adults who have concern for the young person.

When a young person is placed in our care all of our staff will share the same good practice and treat people with respect and dignity at all times.

Their welfare will be safeguarded, and we will promote their physical, mental, emotional and social development.

  • We will support each young person with their religious and cultural needs.
  • We will actively promote family living and values.

Each young person receives : An Individual Education Plan which is developed using:

  • Past experiences, talking with the young person to establish good working practices (some young people do like being touched when in a heightened state. This would be recorded and conveyed to the staff as part of the de – escalation process)
  • Time to reflect and review the plan on a regular basis

We will use:

  • Reactive planning as a tool to creating a more stable and calmer environment and to allow staff and young people to work collaboratively in solving behaviour issues.
  • Access to therapeutic services
  • Holistic therapeutic ethos used within good work practice

Policy Objectives

Our objective is to promote a positive behaviour ethos within our services, but on occasion it may be deemed reasonable and necessary to use sanctions and control measures to manage poor behaviour. Control should be used in accordance with sound management and professional practice in the context of good relationships built within the home. Sanctions may be necessary on occasions. Only sanctions, which are approved, may be used.

Within the service we use Dynamis training methods. All sanctions and control measures will be appropriate to age and understanding of the individual they will be fair and just and in accordance with DOH Guidance on permissible forms of control (April 1993) Our staff team are professionals who have been trained to use intervention techniques alongside our de –escalation and reactive planning.

We are a non-punishment school therefore we do not use sanctions.

  • Prohibited sanctions and control measures prohibited by law.
  • Any form of corporal punishment
  • Any deprivation of food or drink as a punishment
  • Withholding medical or dental treatment as a punishment.
  • Imposing fines – this will not include wilful damage of property; in this instance the young person may be required to make a contribution to the repair or replacement.

Sanctions

We do not use sanctions to manage behaviour, we use reflective practice to explore the reason for the behaviour and how we can change our practice to reduce the number of incidents. We work with the young person to develop strategies to reduce the number of episodes and help them to understand a safer more productive way of communicating.

All incidents will be recorded, and copies sent to parents/carers. Social workers

Physical intervention We acknowledge the use of physical interventions can have a detrimental effect upon the positive relationship between staff and the young person. The use of positive handling is always the last option of intervention. Definition of physical intervention is the positive use of physical strategies in order to protect a young person form harming him/herself or other or causing serious damage to property. We will work within the behaviour plan when using physical interventions and use reactive planning to identify triggers.  We recognise that physical interventions have a direct implication for staff and therefore we aim to ensure that two members of staff are present during this time.

The defusing of physical situations 

This information is to be used a general guidance a full explanation is undertaken during staff training.

  • Remain calm, speak slowly and quietly
  • Discretely remove any sharp object potential weapons
  • Move other young people away from the situation • Allow the other person to speak
  • Listen to them and try to understand their point of view
  • Keep your distance
  • Avoid prolonged eye contact
  • Do not allow yourself to get trapped
  • Think about your body language
  • Try to move them to a more private area
  • Give clear options for ending the incident
  • Reiterate the options break them down into little steps
  • Call for the second member of staff who should only enter the room when directed, they should remain quiet and non-confrontational to allow the young person time to adjust to the second person arriving.

Any physical intervention will be recorded in the physical intervention book, the Head Teacher, Ofsted and Social Services should be informed in writing of the incident within 24 hours.

The young person will be given the opportunity to calm down and then to discuss the incident and to reactive plan for the future. Staff should be given the opportunity to reflect upon the incident before they go home.

Control guidelines for staff

  • Be consistent
  • Mean what you say
  • Keep any promises made
  • Always leave a ‘way out’ in any confrontation situation
  • Know the young person’s behaviour plan – for good work practice
  • Look at the whole situation before making a decision
  • Support your co-workers – you can discuss different options during the de briefing
  • Allow time for cooling off before you begin reactive planning
  • Be aware of the other young people in the home and the effect the incident could be having
  • Make sanctions effective and manageable
  • Be aware that everyone can be wrong and apologise if necessary – good role modelling
  • Ask for another staff member to take over – if you are becoming stressed
  • Use defusing techniques at all times

Do not 

  • Use sarcasms
  • Raise your voice, lowering your voice will make the other person listen more
  • Include all of the staff team on one incident
  • Leave a situation unresolved – this leads to poor communication

To ensure the policy is effective and up to date This policy is reviewed on an annual basis updating as new legislation emerges.