23 SES 01 A, Politics and Policy Making in Education (Part 1)
Paper Session to be continued in 23 SES 02 A
Behaviour in schools is a continuing policy concern internationally (Hue, 2010). The rise of what is perceived as disruptive behaviour in schools in most European countries has been highlighted by the press and academic literature worldwide (Didaskalou and Millward, 2001).
In Scotland, disruptive behaviour, failure to obey rules and abuse or insolence are the most common reasons for exclusion (Munn et al., 2001).Therefore, behaviour policies have been developed for local authorities and schools. One of the main sources of national information about behaviour in schools in Scotland is the Behaviour in Scottish Schools research, a national study on behaviour in publicly funded mainstream schools which is conducted every three years and provides information about behaviour policies and behaviour in schools (Black et al., 2012).In response to the Behaviour in Scottish schools research 2012 (Black et al, 2012)the policy document Better relationships, Better learning, better behaviour (Scottish Government, 2013) was published In March of 2013. The policy guidelines were formulated by the Scottish Government and a group of representatives from key bodies and organisations in Scottish education named the ‘Scottish Advisory Group on Relationship and Behaviour in Schools’ (SAGRABIS). The policy is intended to support local authorities, practitioners, and partners to promote positive relationships and behaviour within their learning communities.
This paper examines the complex relationship between policy and practice exploring the implementation of the above Scottish policy guidelines. It is believed that policy implementation is complex as policy actions change constantly. Additionally, policy implementation is part of the policy process and is linked with the other parts (Nakamura and Smallwood, 1980, p. 21). This complex conceptualisation of policy implementation as well as the need to study under what conditions education policies get implemented (Honig, 2006), encourage the use of complexity theory that focuses on the idea that the interaction of multiple constituent agents has as a result the emergence of phenomena-forms and events (Davis and Upitis, 2004). Therefore, based on complexity theory, this paper will explore the perceptions of support teachers, support staff and pupils addressing the following questions: How support teachers and support staff interpret and translate the policy guidelines? How are the schools’ practices perceived by pupils? What are the barriers in the implementation of the policy guidelines? These questions are also relevant at a European level.
This paper is part of a larger study but it will focus on the data obtained from the interviews of support teachers, support staff and pupils' focus groups presenting how the above policy becomes ‘live’ (Ball et al 2012) in secondary schools of Scotland.
Ball, S. J., Maguire M. and Braun, A. (2012) How Schools Do Policy: Policy Enactments in Secondary Schools. London: Routledge.
Black, C., Chamberlain, V., Murray, L., Sewel, K. and Skelton, J. (2012) Behaviour in Scottish Schools 2012 Final Report. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.
Davis, B and Upitis, R. (2004) 'Pending Knowledge: On the Complexities of Teaching and Learning', Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 20(3), pp. 113-128.
Didaskalou, E. S. and Millward, A. J. (2001) 'Greek teachers' perspectives on behaviour problems: implications for policy-makers and practitioners', European Journal of Special Needs Education, 16(3), pp. 289-299.
Honig, M.I. (2006). New Directions in Education Policy Implementation: Confronting complexity. New York: State University of New York Press.
Hue, M.T. (2010) 'Influence of Taoism on teachers’ definitions of guidance and discipline in Hong Kong secondary schools', British Educational Research Journal, 36(4), pp. 597– 610.
Munn, P. , Cullen, M., A , Johnstone, M. and Lloyd, G. (2001) 'Exclusion from school: a view from Scotland of policy and practice', Research Papers in Education, 16(1), pp. 23-42.
Nakamura, R. T., and Smallwood, F. (1980) The politics of policy implementation. New York: St. Martin’s.
Scottish Government (2013) Better relationships, better learning, better behaviour. Available at:
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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