Academy Trust Launches New Behaviour Policy

Outwood Grange Academies Trust (OGAT), an education charity established in 2009, will implement the new policy in full from the start of the new academic year in September. The decision to refresh the policy was taken before an application was made to the High Court on behalf of a student at one of the Trust’s academies.

The Trust, which is made up of 31 academies, currently has all bar one of its inspected academies rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted, including twelve of the sixteen schools that were in special measures when the Trust began working with them, with three still awaiting inspection.

As with the previous policy, the aim of the new policy is to promote positive behaviour. It focuses on all students behaving in a way that ensures they, and staff, are safe, respectful and responsible, to allow all children to learn in a calm environment. It has been informed by engagement with a cross-section of stakeholders to gather a wide range of important views. The main changes to the policy are around a greater emphasis on the teaching of good behaviours.

Martyn Oliver, Chief Executive of OGAT, said: “This new behaviour policy will continue to help us put students first, raise standards and transform the lives of students at our academies. 

“The vast majority of our students behave in way that makes us all very proud. We support those where improvements are needed and the new policy will also focus on the teaching of good behaviours. We rightly have high expectations in all aspects of our academies, including teaching, academic results, extra-curricular activities and behaviour.

“The new policy promotes positive behaviour and ensures all students leave us as good citizens, who behave with dignity and responsibility in their communities.”

Legal action was brought against the Trust in December last year when an application was made to the high court on behalf of a student. The application was made in relation to the Trust’s use of ‘isolation’, a term that has been used in the media to describe a student being removed from a lesson due to poor behaviour and disruption and, instead, working in a classroom elsewhere in the academy. 

The Trust had already planned a review of its Behaviour Policy for March 2019 and agreed that the points raised in the judicial review application would be considered, alongside the changes it was already considering.  As a result, the application was withdrawn.

Martyn added: “As a Trust, we want to help all our students make the right choices. Our aim as an education charity is simple – to give all the children and young people we are privileged to serve the opportunities to fulfil their potential. Ensuring our academies are respectful and safe places is central to achieving that.

“Since becoming CEO in 2016, I have been committed to constantly reviewing our practices and policies to ensure we remain fully committed to putting students first. This has always been an important part of the Trust’s success, developing the way we work to achieve ongoing improvement for the benefit of our students.”