A new series co-produced by the BBC and The Open University (OU) will highlight how to help to keep children in schools using inclusive behaviour management strategies, as exclusions peak to their highest in a decade.
‘Don’t Exclude Me’ starts on BBC 2 on Thursday 30 September at 9pm. The two-part series follows behavioural expert Marie Gentles OBE as she works closely with Milton Hall Primary School in Southend to manage their most challenging pupils.
During her time at the school, Marie focuses on helping teachers and parents work together to keep children in class.
Dr Liz Chamberlain, OU Academic Consultant for Don’t Exclude Me, commented on the importance of working with parents and pupils alike to improve behaviour and respect:
“Working on Don’t Exclude Me reinforced for me what so many good teachers already know: 80% of good behaviour management is about relationships and the other 20%…is also about relationships.
“I worked as a local authority behaviour specialist for several years, and Marie’s work in the programme shines a spotlight on best practices. Involving parents, senior leaders, and the children themselves was at the heart of supporting the children featured in the programme. It’s fantastic to see their confidence grow over the two programmes and how much happier they and their teachers are, reinforcing the importance of mutually respectful relationships.”
Dr Eric Addae-Kyeremeh, OU Academic Consultant, also lauded Marie’s methods in improving behaviour management to combat the expulsion levels:
“I was pleased to work as an academic consultant on this programme. The school-based approach to teachers’ learning and development introduced by Marie Gentles reinforces aspects of my own research. The coaching and modelling techniques deployed has huge potential to help teachers improve their practice(s) because it offers greater opportunity to ‘learn and do’.”
Marie previously spent 10 years as the headteacher of a Pupil Referral Unit and her experience working with children outside of mainstream education has helped her in developing techniques that can help avoid exclusions completely.
In October 2020, Marie was recognised for her services nationally to education; and after being cited in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, received an Order of the British Empire (OBE).
Dr Liz Chamberlain added:
“Don’t exclude me was an important programme for me to work on, as I’m passionate about supporting teachers and student teachers to understand the complexity of behaviour. I’m pleased with the way the programme highlights the children as individuals and highlights Marie’s work in establishing positive relationships. It’s a programme I hope that all Initial Teacher Education providers will find a way of using in their courses.
“All student teachers quickly realise there is no one set of lectures or training sessions that will cover everything they need to know about behaviour. A child’s behaviour is never the sole responsibility of an individual teacher; instead, it takes a school community to work together to create an inclusive learning environment for all children and staff to succeed.
“Don’t Exclude Me makes this point so well, and the success of Marie’s interventions is everyone’s success.”
Find out more
This series was commissioned by Broadcast and Partnerships and is supported by WELS, with particular relevance to:
- Q94 – BA(Hons) Education Studies (Primary)
- T29 / W54 – Certificate/Diploma of Higher Education Studies (Primary)
- F70 – Masters degree in Education
Visit our NEW Broadcast & Partnerships site where you can find interviews with Marie and other staff at Milton Hall Primary School along with extensive resources and information on topics related to this series.
- Commissioned by Dr Caroline Ogilvie, Head of Broadcast & Partnerships
- Academic Consultants: Dr Liz Chamberlain and Dr Eric Addae-Kyeremeh
- Media Fellow: Simon Rea
- Broadcast Project Manager: David Bloomfield
- Broadcast Platforms and Public Engagement Manager: Chris Belson