Senior School Behaviour, Rewards and Sanctions Policy

This policy responds to the Independent Schools Standards Regulations 2014, which includes the requirement that all schools must have a behaviour policy which must be available to all parents and prospective parents.

The school also acknowledges its legal duties under the Equality Act 2010 in respect of safeguarding and in respect of pupils with SEN and disabilities.

Policy Aims

This policy aims to:

  • Promote good behaviour, self-discipline and respect (for self, others, and the environment)
  • Set out the school’s expectations in relation to behaviour and regulate the conduct of pupils
  • Outline the rewards for appropriate behaviour and sanctions applied for misbehaviour
  • Prevent bullying (in conjunction with the Anti-Bullying Policy)
  • Set out the framework of pastoral support in which the policy operates, principles for communication with parents, and the legal background to specific procedures

Roles and Responsibilities

Ultimately, the responsibility for the management of positive behaviour lies with the Head of the Senior School. However, we believe that every member of the school community has an important role to play in creating a positive learning environment. It is particularly important that all adults working in the school accept responsibility for behaviour throughout the school and act appropriately when misbehaviour is observed.

The behaviour of girls is governed by two documents (Everyday Rules and the Code of Behaviour) which girls are reminded of at the start of each term and which are permanently displayed in each classroom. The Code of Behaviour was created in consultation with the School Council and is reviewed regularly. It is founded on a basic premise of respect for others, demonstrating our school values in action, common courtesy and the efficient running of the school. Good behaviour is expected of all the girls.

The main areas covered by the Code of Behaviour (the Code) are:

  • Treating others as all members of the school community would expect to be treated themselves
  • Recognising bullying and what to do if a student is subject to it
  • How staff should treat students
  • How students should treat staff (teaching and non-teaching) and sixth-formers on duty
  • How students behave in the wider community

The main areas covered by the Everyday Rules (the Rules) are:

  • Punctuality
  • Procedures for leaving school during the day
  • Uniform
  • Jewellery
  • Hair
  • Acceptable Use Policy and mobile phones
  • Keeping belongings safe
  • Respect for belongings of others
  • Handing in homework on time
  • Respect for classrooms and school environment
  • Chewing gum
  • Behaviour at break and lunchtime

All the staff take responsibility for upholding behaviour in the School and ensuring girls are challenged whenever they break the Rules or Code.

Where students break the Code or Rules, in the first instance they are reminded why their behaviour contravenes the Code or Rules. It is only when the behaviour continues that the school disciplinary procedures are then put in place.

Behaviour outside the School

Pupils who breach the school’s Behaviour, Rewards and Sanctions Policy whilst on school business such as trips and journeys, sports fixtures, clubs, or a work-experience placement will be dealt with in the same manner as if the incident had taken place at the school.

For incidents that take place outside the school and not on school business, this policy will still have effect if there is a clear link between that behaviour and maintaining good behaviour and discipline among the pupil body as a whole. This includes bullying behaviour within the school community (e.g. pupil to pupil / pupil to staff outside school), behaviour in the immediate vicinity of the school or on a journey to or from the school. Other relevant factors include whether the pupil is wearing school uniform or is in some other way identifiable as a pupil at the school and whether the behaviour could adversely affect the reputation of the school.

Positive reinforcement and rewards

Sheffield High School recognises the power of making explicit the desired standards of behaviour for learning and of positively reinforcing high standards of learning and co-operative behaviour, demonstrating and upholding the school’s values of; Positivity, Courage and Kindness. This has both the impact of teaching and reinforcing expected behaviour and a motivational role in helping pupils to realise that good behaviour is valued. Recognising and rewarding positive attitudes and learning behaviour are central to the promotion of good behaviour and creating a caring and a safer community.

Sheffield High School uses a range of rewards and positive reinforcement strategies. Examples of these include:

  • Praise verbal and written
  • Written comment on work/in book
  • Achievement Points
  • Praise Postcards
  • Certificates
  • Praise Assemblies
  • Motivational rewards/prizes
  • Special awards at Achievement Assemblies and Prizegivings
  • SLT ‘Called In’ to praise excellent effort in class/form time

By these means the school seeks to motivate pupils, create a positive learning environment, raise pupil self-esteem, and provide systems which can be used by all staff to contribute to raised levels of achievement.

Disciplinary Sanctions

The following sanctions are used by the School in instances of inappropriate behaviour:

  • Verbal reminder/warning
  • Move within the classroom
  • SIMS Behaviour Point
  • Loss of social time
  • Lunchtime detention
  • After-school detention (This can include Offender Reflection sessions)
  • Withdrawal from Lessons (Isolation)


A pupil may be excluded for a fixed period of time and/or permanently excluded for:

  • serious breach of the Rules
  • non-payment of fees
  • when there have been repeated minor breaches of the Rules
  • where a pupil has not responded to other sanctions or pastoral support; or
  • if in the Head's considered opinion, the behaviour of parents is unreasonable and is likely to affect adversely the pupil or other pupils or staff or to bring the School or Trust into disrepute.

Exclusions may be internal (where the pupil is excluded from lessons and works under the supervision of a member of SLT) or, for more serious offences, exclusion from school.

Such Fixed Period of Permanent Exclusion will be in accordance with the Trust’s published procedure, a copy of which can be obtained from the School Office. In all cases of Fixed Period or Permanent Exclusion full fees will remain payable for the term in which it occurs.

Serious disciplinary incidents and the sanctions imposed are recorded and stored with the Head.

For acts of aggression or behaviour which potentially threatens the health and safety of others, the school reserves the right to involve the police.

Equally, if the school considers that the behaviour might be linked to a young person suffering, or being likely to suffer, significant harm safeguarding procedures will be applied as appropriate.

Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment is against the law and is never used or threatened.

Partnership with Parents

The School believes strongly in the power of working in close co-operation with parents and of the rights and desirability of parents being actively involved in the education of their child. The school will therefore seek to involve parents/guardians actively on behaviour for learning issues. Approaches will include:

  • Phone calls
  • Meetings
  • Early involvement
  • Letters
  • Supporting pupils on report
  • Home school agreement
  • Invitations to agency meetings
  • Follow up & routine communication

Parents/guardians are welcome to approach the school for informal or formal discussions about their daughter’s education.

Pastoral Support Framework: Monitoring, support and intervention

Through the pastoral and guidance systems the school has staff (Form Tutors, Heads of Year, Pastoral Support and Head of Pastoral Care) whose role is to support pupil welfare and well-being. This includes helping to make explicit the school’s expectations, reinforcing positive learning attitudes, applying disciplinary sanctions and monitoring behaviour which gives rise to concern.

The school accepts that for a wide variety of reasons (such as having a special educational need, disability or mental health issue) some pupils require additional support in order to learn and display positive learning behaviour. For these pupils the school will draw on a range of interventions in order to support and re-track behaviour. Strategies include consideration of curriculum need, additional learning support, additional internal provision, placement on a behaviour or pastoral support programme, and use of external expertise.

The use of reasonable force

The School acknowledges its duties and responsibilities under the 2006 Education and Inspections Act in which all school staff members have a power to use reasonable force to prevent pupils committing a criminal offence, injuring themselves or others, or damaging property and to maintain good order and discipline amongst pupils.

In any case where a member of staff has recourse to use reasonable force, the incident will be recorded with the Head and parents will be informed as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter, save where there may be a safeguarding reason not to do so.

Screening, searching and confiscation

The School acknowledges its duties and responsibilities under the applicable education legislation and guidance in respect of screening and searching pupils, and confiscating items.

School staff may search pupils’ clothing, bags or lockers without consent for any prohibited item, and for any item which we believe could cause injury to any person or damage to property. This process will be governed by internal procedures and will only be undertaken by designated staff. As above, the school may give due regard to police involvement or initiating safeguarding processes as appropriate.

As a general rule, school staff can seize any prohibited item found as a result of a search, and any item however found which they consider harmful or detrimental to school discipline. Items may be confiscated, retained, handed to the police or disposed of as a disciplinary penalty, when it is reasonable to do so.

Malicious accusations against school staff

The School recognises that there may be occasions when a pupil justifiably needs to raise issues about the actions of a member of staff, and has procedures for dealing with such concerns.

However, where the allegation is clearly one of malicious intent or fabrication, the school will give due regard to the most appropriate disciplinary sanction to be taken which may include temporary or permanent exclusion, as well as referral to the police if there are grounds for believing a criminal offence may have been committed.

The School will also take seriously inappropriate use of technologies including mobile and social networking sites which are targeted at members of staff.

Staff Support and Development

Staff are supported in their implementation of the Behaviour, Rewards and Sanctions Policy through the guidance and leadership of the Assistant Head (Pastoral) and other pastoral staff, regular pastoral meetings and periodic staff training.

Related Policies

This policy operates in conjunction with:

  • School Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and GDST Safeguarding Procedures
  • SEND Policy
  • Anti Bullying Policy
  • GDST Exclusions Policy
  • GDST Acceptable Use Agreements
  • GDST Equal Opportunities Policy
  • GDST and School Drugs Policy