Violence against school staff is completely unacceptable and our guidance on exclusions, revised in September 2008, makes it clear that a pupil can be permanently excluded for violence even when it is a first offence.
In May 2008 we issued revised guidance on the education of children and young people experiencing behavioural, emotional and social difficulties as a special educational need (BESD). We have also commissioned the National Strategies to provide a wide range of support and advisory services, including a continuing professional development scheme, which includes study materials on managing behaviour in schools and addressing BESD.
In addition to guidance, we are implementing a comprehensive national programme to strengthen schools’ capacity to manage behaviour. This includes targeted support for schools, high quality training, curriculum materials and consultancy support. We have also strengthened the law to help protect schools from challenges to their authority from pupils or parents, and enable them to foster a safe and orderly learning environment.
We are encouraging schools to develop a whole-school approach to improving social and emotional wellbeing and continuing to reduce behavioural difficulties, by promoting the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) programme and by publishing guidance on the management of behaviour.