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Behaviour in schools and classrooms has been a focus of much media and research interest. Pupil behaviour remains a challenging issue for teachers and school leaders, and its management is often cited as one of the most difficult tasks that both experienced and new teachers must contend with in schools. Difficulties in classroom management often lead to stress, burnout and exit from the teaching profession, as well as being a deterrent for those considering teaching as a career. It is also cited as a challenge for headteachers across all school phases. Ineffective classroom management can lead to pupil disengagement, aggression, low attendance, and bullying. Understanding the factors that influence pupils’ behaviour is complex, even defining behaviour can prove difficult and contentious.

Improving Behaviour in Schools Evidence Review cites behaviour does not only refer to poor behaviour or misbehaviour (e.g. aggressive behaviour, physically disruptive behaviour, socially disruptive behaviour, authority-challenging behaviour, self-disruptive behaviour). They also include positive behaviour for learning (e.g. concentration, prosocial behaviour, and engagement).

Research evidence suggests that a shift of focus from managing a child’s behaviour towards teaching a child learning behaviours may be beneficial.

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