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Passing the buck, Australian Tales and Many Exciting Announcements! – PP69

The topic of the week is Passing the buck, Australian Tales and Many Exciting Announcements!

On our return to the podcast this week, we get straight under way with a consideration of what it means to ‘pass the buck’ in behaviour management, an interview with Ellie Dix and lots of amazing announcements. Paul is surprised when he visits institutions that the idea of passing a learner from one teacher to another one higher up the hierarchy still persists. It seems to be that people think the more senior teacher has ‘magic dust’ which they can sprinkle onto the child and return them to the class apologetic and perfectly ready to learn.

In Further Education this is done often through the ‘Cause for Concern’ form which means that somebody else has to deal with the behaviour of the learner who wasn’t in the lesson and didn’t observe the incident. Whether it’s Cause for Concern slips in FE, being sent to the Deputy Head in Primary School or pressing the call out button in a Secondary School, it’s all based ont he idea that someone further up the hierarchy has special powers. Instead, Paul believes we should remember the good reasons for following up incidents personally – alongside the essential support you need from senior members of staff.

The teacher who is best-placed to have an impact on the behaviour of a learner is the class teacher.

Senior members of staff or parents cannot remotely control learners when they are out of their sight. Letting someone else decide what the consequences are for a learner risks giving the message that you cannot deal with the behaviour yourself and the learner brings that with them into the next lesson. If you constantly pass responsibility over, you never get a chance to sit down with that learner and understand where the behaviour came from. If there is no restorative process going on,  the pattern of calling out for help will be repeated multiple times. Other colleagues can also get the impression you are not committed to managing the behaviour in your classes.

There has to be a balance – you don’t want new teachers, for example, to think they cannot summon support but constant delegation of behaviour management from staff at all levels creates an odd situation. You wouldn’t send a child out to a more senior member of staff for not being able to spell – why is it any different with behaviour?

Free Pivotal Behaviour Tips by email Since 2001, Pivotal have operated a free tips by email service. 20,000 teachers now benefit from the weekly emails. Sign up here: 

Ellie DixEllie’s Australian Trip Ellie has recently returned from Australia where she met some great educationalists, found out a lot about Australian education and ran a number of Pivotal taster sessions. The variety of different educations systems in different states in Australia was surprising and the difference in experiences for an individual teacher in CPD can be marked. Ellie says she thinks teachers are wanting CPD opportunities but don’t always have access to it depending on the type of school they are in or the area of the country they are in.

Some Australian educational leaders believe that professional development  is about doing ‘just enough just in time’. Ellie finds this worrying.

In New South Wales, a very positive model involves accrediting every teacher via a system where new teachers are being accredited as they qualify but then older teachers will also have to become accredited over time. This means taking a number of accredited professional development courses – 50 hours over 5 years complemented by 50 hours of individual development. There are three levels – Proficient Teacher, Highly Accomplished Teacher and Lead Teacher. As you progress, less of the training you take has to be accredited. This sense of growing autonomy is very encouraging. Pivotal Education are planning to develop their presence in Australia over the next few years and Pivotal courses will be accredited by New South Wales soon.

Three Exciting Announcements from Pivotal Education!

1. A New Series of Webinars A variety of different behaviour management topics are covered in this selection of webinars for teachers, middle managers and senior leaders. First come, first served!

2. Support Hub for NQTs Roehampton University are using the Pivotal’s new Support Hub to continue engaging with their former trainees in their NQT year. Any other ITT provider who wants to be able to use the tools and resources in the Hub can do so alongside any schools who want to support their NQTs in this way. So schools, universities, Teaching Schools, SCITTs, Teach First schools or anywhere else where teachers are being trained are eligible to use the system.

3. Free Behaviour Management Taster Sessions Ellie is looking for schools who are interested in hosting these twilight sessions.

Early notification: Pivotal Conference on 15th July 2015, Bridgend College – Children, Mental Health and Behaviour

Call for speakers! If you are interested in leading a structured conversation at the conference, please contact There is no fee for speakers and all profits from the conference will be given to mental health charities in Bridgend

Tweet of the Week! Congratulations to TBAP Courtyard Academy!

Pivotal Podcast Pocketbooks

PEpocketbook-BUNDLE2Newly-created Pivotal Podcast Pocketbooks are now available from Amazon including one on Restorative Practice. There will be a huge range of Pocketbooks from Pivotal Education, starting with the edited transcripts of some of the most popular episodes of the podcast.

The idea of releasing written versions of episodes came from listeners who wanted to be able to make notes and use the content in different ways. If you would like a particular episode to be converted into an ebook, please let us know!


(Creative Commons Sound clip by Johnny Pixel Productions, Inc. –



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