Solution to class disruption

Julian Pollard, the head teacher of Lowton CE High School
Julian Pollard, the head teacher of Lowton CE High School
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A WIGAN head teacher says he believes his school has the ideal solution to the problem of low-level classroom disruption recently highlighted by the head of Ofsted.

Julian Pollard, head of Lowton CE High School, says the Newton Road school’s LEARN system has had a huge effect on reducing problems such as humming, fidgeting and other examples of minor unruly behaviour.

Mr Pollard spoke out after Ofsted head Sir Michael Wilshaw said such disruption was costing pupils up to an hour a day in lost teaching time.

LEARN sees pupils assessed on looking smart at all times, having equipment and homework brought in every day, attending school and lessons on time, remaining on task in every lesson and not answering back.

Pupils who fall foul of these can be given a warning before a second step out of line is punished with a 30-minute LEARN detention after school that day, with a text message also sent to parents.

The information is also logged on the school’s computers so staff can see exactly which rules pupils are struggling to comply with and act to resolve the problems.

Mr Pollard said staff have told him the Learn system ensures they have up to seven or eight minutes’ extra teaching time each lesson.

Mr Pollard said: “I’ve not come across anything quite like LEARN before and I think it’s a really good system which is transforming the school.

“Having the system on computer means we can monitor pupils right from year seven, and if we need to we can work with families as well and get parents involved to develop learning strategies.

“LEARN means pupils understand clearly there are consequences for their actions and ensures we’re not losing time to disruption.”

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) said it believes most schools are already placed to tackle disruption and said the curriculum should be varied to make learning enjoyable for pupils.

General secretary Christine Blower said: “The majority of schools have good and effective behaviour policies and are well-ordered, safe places for pupils and teachers.

“Pupils who are positively engaged in learning are less likely to display inappropriate behaviour.”