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Last updated on 28 February 2020
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Statutory/mandatory for: Maintained schools Academies Free schools Independent schools Pupil referral units Non-maintained special schools What does this mean?

Download and adapt our model behaviour policy, and save yourself some time. If you prefer to write or review your own use our checklist setting out requirements and good practice for behaviour policies. You'll also find examples, and questions you can ask staff to consult them on changes to your policy.

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Recent update to this article

We updated this article in February 2020 to add a resource for consulting staff on changes to your behaviour policy. 

There are no changes to the model policy. 

Model policy from The Key

We have created a model behaviour policy. Approved by Forbes Solicitors, this model document is designed for you to adapt to suit your school’s context. All of our model documents take account of relevant requirements and good practice. They are easy to adapt, will save you time and help you keep your school compliant.

All schools are required to have a behaviour policy. 

The document also includes a statement of behaviour principles, which maintained schools, PRUs and non-maintained special schools are required to have.

For more model policies and complete policy support from The Key, see the policy bank

Downloadable checklist 

If you'd rather write your own policy or review your existing one, download our checklist and use it to find out what you must cover, as well as good practice advice for what to cover.

The checklist is based on guidance from the Department for Education (DfE), and advice from Pivotal Education, an education training provider specialising in behaviour management.

Managing your behaviour policy: requirements

Maintained schools, PRUs and non-maintained special schools

The headteacher must:

  • Take account of the governing board's statement of behaviour principles and any guidance or notification provided by the governing board when writing the behaviour policy
  • Decide the standard of behaviour expected of pupils
  • Determine the school rules and any disciplinary penalties for breaking them
  • Publicise the behaviour policy at least once a year, in writing, to parents, pupils and staff

The behaviour policy must be published on the school's website.

Academies, free schools, independent schools and AP academies and free schools

Information about the school's behaviour policy must be made available to parents on request. Though the policy does not have to be published on the school's website, it is good practice to do so.

How effective and consistent is behaviour management across your school?

One of the modules in The Key's CPD Toolkit explores evidence and research into high-impact approaches to behaviour management. It looks at how to use rewards, sanctions and praise to reinforce rules, and how to develop positive relationships with pupils.

Learn more

Reviewing your policy – download our staff consultation questions

You should consult staff to find out how you can make improvements to your current behaviour policy. 

Download our list of questions to ask staff – it's based on our model policy, but you can adapt it to suit your school's context. 

You can use it both if you're reviewing your entire policy, or if you're just making changes to a few sections.


Primary schools

The Valley Community Primary School in Bolton has a behaviour policy which covers:

  • The responsibilities of pupils, staff and parents
  • Principles and practical strategies for promoting positive behaviour
  • Sanctions and the use of the 'traffic light system'
  • Reporting and monitoring behaviour incidents

You can download the policy from the following page:

The behaviour policy from Newall Green Primary School in Manchester has sections on:

  • Good practice for staff
  • Involving parents and carers

The appendices on pages 12 to 19 include:

  • A child-friendly guide to 'traffic light' procedures
  • A behaviour reflection sheet for pupils to complete
  • A sanctions sheet for staff to complete

You can download the policy from the page below:

Secondary school

St Cuthbert’s High School in Newcastle Upon Tyne covers the following in its behaviour policy:

  • How the policy will be implemented consistently, communicated and understood
  • School rules on e.g. punctuality, clothing, conduct and use of technology
  • Responsibilities of the class teacher, form teacher, all teaching staff, the curriculum leader and the pastoral leader
  • The seclusion unit

The policy can be downloaded from the page below.

Special school

The positive behaviour policy from Swiss Cottage School, an all-through special school in Camden, features sections on:

  • Underlying principles for behaviour management at the school
  • Support for pupils with exceptional behavioural needs
  • Discriminatory language/racist incidents
  • Restraint, and touching and holding pupils
  • Monitoring behaviour

The school's physical intervention policy is included on pages 12-13.

You can download it from the following page:

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The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence.