PUPILS TO GET LESSONS IN RESPECT
Schools in England are to get ?13.7m more to teach pupils manners, respect and good behaviour.
New Children’s Secretary Ed Balls wants pupils in all primary and secondary schools to have lessons in social and emotional skills by 2011. A programme already running in 60% of primary schools, which helps children deal with anger, anxiety and conflicts, is being rolled out across the nation. It has had a major impact on behaviour and attainment, the government says.
The programme focuses on encouraging pupils to understand themselves, manage their feelings and promotes social skills and the understanding of others.
The Department for Children, Schools and Families said such skills aided employability and social mobility by ensuring all children, regardless of background, had confidence in their abilities and understood how to interact with others in a positive way.
The programme is also aimed at promoting positive behaviour and regular school attendance which will have an impact on learning and emotional health.
On top of the ?7m already committed to fund the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (Seal) programme, the government is investing an extra ?13.7m over four years, officials announced.
Approximately 10,000 schools are already involved in the scheme.
It is hoped that by July 2009 all primary schools will have had help in introducing the Seal programme. The scheme will be rolled out across England’s secondary schools from September. It is hoped that by 2011 all will have had the opportunity to set up the scheme.
Mr. Balls said many of the schools that had implemented the programme had seen a marked improvement in the way their pupils interacted with each other both inside and outside the classroom.
“The programme will make sure that all children understand the importance of being confident and interacting with other children in a respectful and positive manner,” he added.
Research suggests the programme works best when it is embedded across the curriculum – rather than being confined to one lesson.
For example sports lessons are seen as a good opportunity to teach pupils how to be good losers and gracious winners, and English literature offers a chance to examine characters who have overcome difficulties.
But Mr. Balls was keen to stress that emotional intelligence lessons come hand in hand with the tough new behaviour powers which came into force in April this year.
They aimed to remove any ambiguity over a teacher’s right to confiscate items, such as mobile phones, give detentions and physically remove violent pupils from the classroom. “These initiatives give teachers some powerful tools to make sure good behaviour and an atmosphere of respect are the norm in all schools,” Mr. Balls added.
Story from BBC NEWS