Developing a Positive School Culture
For years commentators, researchers, policy-makers, inspectors, LEA officers and teachers have recognised the significance of having a positive whole-school policy and approach to establishing positive behaviour. Some have endeavoured to determine what this enigmatic phrase might mean - they have attempted to identify the critical factors that make for an effective, positive school ethos that underpins positive relationships within a school community. A handful of studies present a series of factors that expose these apparent secret ingredients, for example, Watkins and Wagner (2000), Galvin et al. (1999) and DfEE-funded research focusing on effective provision for pupils with EBD (University of Birmingham 1998). However, for the most part the notion of school culture remains an elusive concept, conjured with smoke and mirrors and references to 'sound leadership', 'consistency', 'raising self-esteem' and the inevitable but bland need for 'high expectations'.