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Power to the Pupils

Part of the series Teaching with Bayley

  Screen capture from Power to the Pupils


To help a new headteacher overcome student misbehaviour and class disruption, behaviour expert John Bayley provides advice in this classroom-management resource.

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Ofsted six months ago reported remarkable progress at the Frankley High School, a small comprehensive on the outskirts of Birmingham. But Ofsted also identified an issue with pupil misbehaviour which unsettles the start of lessons.

John visits to help secondary headteacher Jonathon Wilding find a solution and he discovers that pupil immaturity and low self-esteem lie behind the problem.

John's pedagogical advice is to use more techniques to increase pupil independence, helping them overcome their immaturity and take more responsibility for their behaviour.

Having observed Jonathon teach a Year 9 maths class, John suggests that giving pupils more independence in lessons would also improve their learning.

John returns a month later to find that the maths class has improved and Jonathon has started giving the pupils more independence. However, some problems with behaviour remain.


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    • Power to the pupils
      7 August 2009 - 13:53

      I was a little surprised by the comments made both by the Advanced Skills Teachers and the Head Teacher in this video. There seemed to be point scoring, rather than a spear headed approach to the problems the school is facing. The most surprising part for me though was when the Head finished by saying that there has been a concerted effort to build very very good teachers over the past 5 - 10 years, and that now the effort needs to be given to developing very very good learners. Surely the head needs to look at those teachers he classes as very very good and consider that if they are good, they should be naturally motivating student. I believe that you can not have one without creating the other! I also agree that there seemed to be an avoidance of the question about student voice. I hope that the school leadership can come together and look at this video to help make some positive choices for their school, as I am sure that if they work together changes will happen.

    • Power to the pupils.........??????
      18 December 2008 - 12:05

      There are many things in this video that give me cause for concern.

      Among other things, here is a classic case of a real issue staring right in your face and it & sadly takes a pupil to highlight it....only to be ignored (again) and its the way it was ignored that concerns me more. Our kids really are brighter than we think!! Even they know it's pointless treating the symptons rather than the disease!

      One girl said, "We should have the right to say what we feelthey shouldn't just dictate to us what THEY WANT US TO SAY....we need to respect each other..." Profound words from one so young.....

      This girl is astute enough to realise that the Student Council really is one of the gimmicks the head later speaks about.

      Her comment was not properly responded to. What is the point in meeting with these kids, asking what they think and not caring about their answers??

      I was absolutely astounded by the heads reply to that question about student voice.

      He said, I dont mind anything being a GIMMICK if it delivers what youre after.

      Not only did John Bayley not really understand the student's comment above, (the fact that he asked the token question is not the point); more astonishingly he missed this one too.

      I really question this head's suitability to lead a school. Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right thing. He seems to be doing neither, where this particular matter is concerned.

      I am still reeling from it as I write this. I had to play that piece twice because I didnt believe what I had heard. Does this head place so little value on his pupils that he has to resort to gimmicks?

      A community built on deception and manipulation isnt the true spirit of real community building. Sadly, what we have here is the makings of a "pseudocommunity".

      If people are going to use human influence strategies and tactics to get people to do what they want, to work better, to be more motivated, to like each other etc, whilst their characters are marked by duplicity and insincerity then they will not be successful in the long run. This simply breeds distrust and everything they do will be perceived as deceptive and manipulative.

      One of the greatest things we can do with our pupils is actually listen to UNDERSTAND.