'Time-in' versus 'time-out'. How schools are tackling behaviour

14th November 2022| Blogs

Support instead of sanctions

Misbehaviour in the classroom can be a major cause of stress and frustration and have a lasting impact on pupil attainment. Yet the responses to behaviour adopted by schools across the UK are as many and varied as their rates of success.

When the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition asked for views on current approaches to behaviour management, 56% of educators said the techniques used by their schools were ineffective. Plus, there was widespread concern about the use of punitive measures.


Promoting discipline instead of invoking punishment

At Thrive, we advocate replacing ‘time-out’ with ‘time-in’ with an adult as one of the most powerful ways of changing future behaviour.

This relational approach to promoting discipline rather than invoking punishment is one of the many factors that has improved behaviour and engagement at Liskeard Hillfort Primary School in Cornwall, The Elland Academy in Leeds, and Northfields School and Sports College in Stockton-on-Tees.



Liskeard Hillfort Primary School

The school I stepped in to six years ago was inadequate, for a variety of reasons. Thrive has been the foundation for much of our improvement work. It has helped us to create really strong relationships that have changed everything at the school and it has given staff a clear understanding of the neuroscience that underlies a lot of behaviour.

In my professional opinion, you can’t progress more sophisticated things like phonics, reading and writing if a school is like the Wild West. Thrive’s principles and practices have helped us to identify individual needs and to respond accordingly so children feel settled and ready to learn. We would have been in the mire without it.”

Dr Tim Cook. Headteacher, Liskeard Hillfort Primary School.

Dr Tim Cook quote





Samantha Strange quote

Northfields School and Sports College

“I see students who aren’t engaging with education for a number of reasons. The most common one is poor behaviour. We were using isolation booths and exclusions but the approach wasn’t working and every student we spoke to about behaviour had a story. We wanted to look at this in detail and move away from sanctions towards something more restorative so they felt more able to access lessons.

Thrive has helped us pull everything together. It also makes our pastoral work measurable which has been really useful for reporting to Ofsted. The biggest difference we’ve observed is that truancy levels have dropped dramatically.”

Samantha Strange. Personalised Learning Centre Manager, Northfields School and Sports College.



The Elland Academy

“The difference Thrive has made to our students is clear. We have had a significant reduction in exclusions and an increase in attendance across all three key-stages. Whole group and individual profiling have really helped our team to meet the emotional and social needs of our children.”

Ed Staton. Head of Academy, The Elland Academy.

“We work with children who have difficulties accessing mainstream classrooms. We know that all behaviour is a communication of unmet need and we are here to get to the bottom of what’s going on for them. We have to ensure that they feel safe, special, and that they have a positive relationship with staff so that they are able to go on to learn.”

Simone King. Assistant Principal, The Elland Academy.

DJ, pupil at Elland Academy, quote



Over to you

At Thrive, we’ve been supporting educators to tackle behaviour for over 25 years. If you’re seeking calmer classrooms, engaged learners and improved attainment, click here to book a Discovery Call with your regional expert. Designed to fit in around your schedule, these free 30-minute conversations via Teams give you a chance to have your questions answered, decide if our service is a fit for your needs, and identify if you qualify for a £1,200 DfE grant to spend in your setting.

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