When the Adults Change, Everything Changes


This new book shows that it’s far more effective to change the behaviour of the adults in a school than it is to try to change the behaviour of the children.



When it comes to looking at behaviour in schools, the elephant in the room is adult behaviour. You can buy in the best behaviour tracking software, introduce 24/7 detention or scream ‘NO EXCUSES’ as often as you like: the solution lies with the behaviour of the adults. It is the only behaviour over which we have enough control. Creating a seismic shift in behaviour across a school requires adult behaviour to be adjusted with absolute consistency. This creates a stable platform on which each school can build its authentic practice. This is not some dystopian uniformity that stifles practice, rather a collaborative agreement between all staff. It will result in shifts in daily routines, in how to deal with the angriest learners, in restorative practice and in how we appreciate exceptional behaviour.

Strip out the negative emotion and be professionally rational. I mean completely strip it out. Refuse to entertain the screw face, irritated tone or sharp word. Do not allow yourself to shout, point or give even the whiff of physical authority. Make your response to even the most appalling behaviour matter of fact. Be outwardly shocked by nothing. If you resist the urge to respond emotionally for 30 days it becomes routine, easy, normal. Even working in the most extreme circumstances.

The book is peppered with case studies from schools across five continents, from the most challenging urban schools to the most privileged schools in the world. This is exceptional behaviour management and leading-edge practice. The approach is practical, transformative and rippling with respect for staff and learners.



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