A short netnography of edutwitter

word cloud of responses
The most commonly used words during a conversation about the failings of EduTwitter. 53.7% of those surveyed, agreed that disruptions had increased over the last year which in turn had a negative impact on interactions within their community.

This post is an extract from a module I wrote for my MA. The module is entitled ‘A netnography of digital interactions and disruptions’ and you can download it from this link.

Due to the instant communicative possibilities that the internet, social media and mobile technologies now provide to the public, we are connected to other cultures and societies as never before. From an epistemological perspective, educators are using these digital channels not only to be socially connected but to develop their knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning. Traditional ethnographers, however, find it challenging to keep up with these changes and adapt their methods to begin to understand this contemporary and socially connected digital society (Garcia, Sandlee, Bechkoff and Cui, 2009; Mills & Morton, 2013). According to Hine (2000), these digital networks‘provide a naturally occurring field site for studying what people do while they are online unconstrained by experimental designs’ (p.18) and with access to on-the-field research becoming more difficult for the deskbound researcher, the attractions of an online ethnographic study become more plausible particularly as events can ‘be ‘time-shifted’ and both ethnographer and participants ‘no longer need to share the same time frame’ (p. 23).My experiences using social media to further develop my own pedagogy and epistemology have led me to use netnography as a research tool.

Netnography is a qualitative research methodology, an extension of ethnography, which takes place online (Kozinets, 2011; Jeanes and Huzzard, 2014). Although it was developed from Kozinets’ research into consumerist behaviour of online communities, the methodology can be used to research any online community. Jeanes and Huzzard (2014) suggest that research questions could focus on status positions in community hierarchies and whether these create potential for conflict and tension (p. 139). Used alongside traditional ethnographic approaches, netnography could provide those working in academic and school-based institutions an insight into how status, power and hierarchy impact educational discourse online. Kozinets (2015) suggests netnographers need to immerse themselves in the online community that they wish to research and they should create an online persona using profiling tools that social media platforms provide. Users complete such profiles so that groups and communities can be formed around common interests, a social bond that Hinton (2013) refers to as ‘cultural intimacy’ (p. 44). A netnography then starts by exploring from the outside using a process known as lurking, almost covert in its approach. Gradually the netnographer moves into the group through interactions, joining social discussion and finally steps back to make sense of the data collected. This ‘centring in the now of cultural being is essential for the netnographer’ (Kozinets, 2015, p. 84), however, we should also consider how we present ourselves to others, how we perceive others and how they perceive us. Goffman (1971) explored a perception of self in his seminal work, ‘The presentation of life in everyday self’, and although it was written before the advent of social media, his assertions continue to be relevant today. Real-life interactions between participants can be fleeting and quickly forgotten unless recorded. When compared to the forever accessible and traceable digital interactions, participants in online communities quickly become aware of their positionality both in the real world and the online world, and adjust self accordingly. Disruptions in real-life interactions, when they occur, have ‘consequences at three levels of abstraction: personality, interaction and social structure’ (Goffman, 1971, p. 156) and, for the netnographer, similar “digital disruptions” can provide an additional insight into how teachers interact and behave online.

My netnographic study was conducted over a four-month period and involved analysing existing digital conversations, interactions and disruptions of a community of teachers using Twitter. I also instigated original digital discourse and used online questionnaires to gather qualitative and quantitative data. Using the constant comparative analysis method (grounded theory) developed by Glaser and Straus (as cited by Rodrigues, 2010) patterns emerged and my interpretation of this data involved reflexive, reflective and autobiographical insights. Social media conversations (threads) are not dependent on the continued presence of the original participant(s) with other users dipping in and out of threads (Pink, Horst, Postill, Hjorth, Lewis and Tacchi, 2016, p. 109). An advantage of anetnographic approach meant I could use Twitter’s “like” and “moments” features to save posts (tweets) and threads for later analysis without having to be participant. My digital fieldwork also involved taking screenshots of specific tweets, using Twitter’s poll function to collect responses and using online data gathering tools to capture streams of conversations. A particularly powerful feature is the use of the ‘retweet’ (RT), where a tweet is shared for the benefit of a user’s follower base. Goodyear, Casey and Kirk (2014) recognised the impact RTs had as they could influence and/or disrupt conversations depending on their use and by whom. Recuero, Araujo and Zago (2011) went as far as suggesting that retweeting is a method used by some to build social capital in their networks. I found that teachers mainly use Twitter to connect with other teachers to share resources and improve their pedagogical knowledge and understanding. However, further decoding of this data revealed some users experienced disruption such as in the following example;

‘I think I’ve formed an opinion of certain groups/people (rightly or wrongly) because of the way they reply to others. Therefore, I wouldn’t attend their events or follow them. Maybe this overshadows good work from other people involved’.

One person’s view does not make a study but it is telling. A teacher new to Twitter is usually introduced to it through a colleague, staff meeting, local teacher event, conference, word of mouth or merely vague interest. These ‘newbies’ can follow their teacher friends, educational news channels, government departments, colleagues that introduced them. There is also the possibility that they follow and unfollow according to confimation bias. Every tweet, RT, like, photo, image, video, audio file, weblink, survey, animated image file (graphic interchange format or GIF) forms part of the digital smorgasbord of interactions and disruptions taking place on social media between teachers today. This community demonstrates a crossover between the online world and the real world, where 95.5% of the 176 I surveyed had used information gleaned from Twitter in their practice and 85.8% said it had directly facilitated in their development as teachers. However, 53.7% agreed that disruptions had increased over the last year which in turn had a negative impact on interactions within their community. This small-scale research deserves further study to analyse the phenomenological effects of online social interaction between teachers and whether these lead to offline disruptions that could ultimately lead to improvements in teaching and learning in the classroom.

 

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User profiles

References

Garcia, A., Standlee, A., Bechkoff, J. and Cui, Y. ( 2009 ), Ethnographic approaches to the internet and computer-mediated communication, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Vol. 38 No. 1, pp. 52 – 84.

Hine, C. (2000). Virtual ethnography. London: SAGE Publications Ltd doi: 10.4135/9780857020277

Kozinets, R. V. (Academic). (2011). What is netnography? [Streaming video]. Retrieved from SAGE Research Methods.

Jeanes, E. & Huzzard, T. (2014). Critical management research: Reflections from the field. London, : SAGE Publications Ltd doi: 10.4135/9781446288610

Goffman, E. (1971). The presentation of self in everyday life. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Rodrigues, S. (2010). Using analytical frameworks for classroom research: Collecting data and analysing narrative. London: Routledge.

Pink, S., Horst, H., Postill, J., Hjorth, L., Lewis, T., & Tacchi, J. (2016). Digital ethnography. London Sage Publications Ltd.

Goodyear, V., Casey, A., Kirk, D., (2014) Tweet me, message me, like me: using social media to facilitate pedagogical change within an emerging community of practice. Sport Education and Society, vol. 19, no. 7, pp. 927-943. DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2013.858624



Recuero, R., Araujo, R., Zago, G. (2011). How does social capital affect retweets? Conference Paper, Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, July 17-21.

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The schoolification of EYFS and the demise of play-based learning.

Painting? Thinking? Learning? Playing? All of these?
Before I taught in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), I would jest that this learning through play malarkey was just playing. How on earth could a teacher focus in such a noisy and chaotic environment? How could someone actually make sense of what was happening whilst the children would go from one activity to another whenever they liked? From the outside looking in it appeared that it was just playing and this illusion continued until I decided to work as an EYFS teacher. How hard could it be? I would draw on my 15+ years of primary experience and sort my foundation class into shape. Actually, the initial shock was fear. Fear that my assumptions were correct and that I had made a huge mistake. Fear that my confidence and ability to teach in any primary age group were no more.  Fear when I quickly realised I didn’t have a clue how to teach in EYFS and these four and five-year-olds were making a mockery of my so-called professionalism.
Three years later, I felt more in control. Through trial and error, reading early years literature, asking questions and visiting other EYFS classrooms, I improved my practice. The fear was gone and I had more faith in my ability to ‘teach’ these young learners but I still had questions about this vital age group. One area that I questioned was my assumption that I would be able to teach in EYFS. The Association for Professional Development in Early Years (TACTYC) clears up this error in judgment saying that as part of the EYFS, 

‘the Reception year would appropriately be led by teachers trained specifically in early childhood education, including child development. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for a school to move teachers whose training and experience centre on later phases of education into Reception classes.’ (TACTYC, 2017)

This, of course, makes sense. I immersed myself in literature to improve my understanding of early years pedagogy but I found that I struggled to put what I was reading regarding play-based learning into practice in the classroom due to a growing ‘schoolification’ of EYFS (Alcock and Haggerty, 2013; Brostrom, 2017; Ring and O’Sullivan; 2018). This schoolification is a growing trend that attempts to prepare children earlier in their lives for the challenges that academic rigour presents. Primary schools face ever-growing external pressure to ensure the demands of the curriculum are met and that standards continue to rise. From the outside looking in it all looks like play, so why not reduce the amount of play-based learning and, as the DFE in its EYFS Framework alludes to, promote more formal teaching so that the children are ready for Year 1 (DFE, 2017)? However, play underpins both the EYFS Profile and the Framework,

Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults (p.9)

And there is a wealth of literature that details the benefits of a play-based approach (Whitebread, Basilio, Kuvalja, Verma, 2012; Lester, Russell, 2010; Jarvis, 2010. Macintyre, 2016; Bruce, 2011; Broadhead, 2013; Brooker, Braise, Edwards, 2014). Play-based learning, when done well, is incredibly powerful as a teaching and learning approach but it requires a lot of effort and thought to get right. Do EYFS teachers face growing pressures to ensure their children are ready for Year 1? If so, do these pressures mean less time spent on developing pedagogically sound play-based learning approaches in favour of short whole class teaching sessions? Do expectations to achieve ever higher numbers of children meeting a ‘Good Level of Development’ (GLD) lead to fewer opportunities for effective play-based learning approaches? I will leave this, for now, with a warning from Emer Ring and Lisha O’Sullivan (2018).

Allowing the ‘schoolification epidemic’ to propel early years’ education globally seriously compromises children’s earliest experiences and places undue demands on young children. Identifying school readiness as the key rationale for early years’ education may potentially be counterproductive if children’s individual needs, abilities, interests and development are side-lined in favour of prescribed curricula and inappropriate pedagogy. (P. 408)

References
Association for Professional Development in Early Years, 2017. Bald Beginnings: a response to Ofsted’s 2017 report. http://tactyc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Bold-Beginnings-TACTYC-response-FINAL-09.12.17.pdf

Alcock, S., Haggerty, M. 2013. Recent policy developments and the ‘schoolification’ of early childhood care and education in Aotearoa New Zealand.  http://www.nzcer.org.nz/system/files/ECF2013_2_021_1.pdf

DFE, 2017. Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. https://www.foundationyears.org.uk/files/2017/03/EYFS_STATUTORY_FRAMEWORK_2017.pdf

Stig Broström (2017) A dynamic learning concept in early years’ education: a
possible way to prevent schoolification, International Journal of Early Years Education, 25:1, 3-15,
DOI: 10.1080/09669760.2016.1270196

Emer Ring & Lisha O’Sullivan (2018) Dewey: a panacea for the ‘schoolification’
epidemic, Education 3-13, 46:4, 402-410, DOI: 10.1080/03004279.2018.1445474

Whitebread, Basilio, Kuvalja and Verma, 2012. The Importance of Play. http://www.importanceofplay.eu/IMG/pdf/dr_david_whitebread_-_the_importance_of_play.pdf

Lester, S., Russell, W., 2010. Children’s right to play.  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263087157_Children’s_Right_to_Play_An_Examination_of_the_Importance_of_Play_in_the_Lives_of_Children_Worldwide

Jarvis, P. (2010). ‘Born to play’: the biocultural roots of rough and tumble play, and its impact upon young children’s learning and development. In P. Broadhead, J. Howard and E. Wood (Eds.). Play and learning in the early years. London: Sage.

Macintyre, C. (2016). Enhancing Learning through Play: A developmental perspective for early years settings. Milton: Taylor and Francis.

Bruce, T. (2011). Learning Through Play, 2nd Edition For Babies, Toddlers and Young Children. London: Hodder Education.

Broadhead, P. (2013). Early Years Play and Learning: Developing Social Skills and Cooperation. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

In Brooker, L., In Blaise, M., & In Edwards, S. (2014). The SAGE Handbook of Play and Learning in Early Childhood. London: SAGE Publications.

DFE, 2018. Early Years Foundation Stage Profile. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/669079/Early_years_foundation_stage_profile_2018_handbook.pdf

The depressed teacher

For many years I have been recognised, in the main, as an ‘outstanding teacher’ by my peers, the LA and Ofsted. I learned from my errors, I listened to advice from those more experienced and I strove to improve my pedagogy through CPD and reading literature. In September 2012 I was recognised as an ‘outstanding’ teacher, one of only two in the school, by Ofsted yet only one month later I was deemed ‘requires improvement’ by the newly appointed headteacher. Why? What happened to my teaching? Where did I go wrong? How could I have let this happen? I questioned it yet found the reply insane- I didn’t meet the new observation checklist. A descent into ill health and depression followed with two emergency visits to A&E with suspected heart attacks.

It’s been a long time coming but I feel ready to tell this side of my teaching career so that others may recognise the signs and do something about it. My first visit to A&E happened during 2014. The atmosphere at school had taken a nose dive and staff, including myself, were teaching in fear; fear that we were not teaching well, fear that we wouldn’t meet our PM targets, fear that we had missed out the non-negotiables, fear that our displays wouldn’t meet the new standards. The warning signs were there. I woke up one night with what felt like a huge weight on my chest. I slid off the bed and crawled out to the bathroom but ended up sliding down the stairs calling for help. My partner rang the emergency services as I lay there on the stairs worrying about everyone I loved. Thankfully, after the various tests it was found I hadn’t had a heart attack and it was more than likely my condition was brought about by acute stress. I returned to work a few days later and everyone said I had to take it easy. That was it. Nothing else. No gradual easing back into teaching, not much support from management. The warning signs were there. I never read them. One term later I had another observation (part of my performance management) which resulted in requires improvement. I contested the outcome and got it changed to good. I knew I had to leave so started looking for a new job.

Job hunting was proving fruitless as nothing interested me. Another warning sign, I should have left no matter what but financial security tied me to this unhealthy post. The year ahead was spent meeting targets, doing what management expected to see rather than what I knew my class required. I was told to ‘keep my head down and just play the game’. But I couldn’t. I would not accept this. I should have read the signs. It was 2015 when I had another suspected heart attack, this time at school. I experienced the same symptoms again, a very heavy chest, pains in my side, rapid breathing. The office rang the ambulance and I was taken to hospital from school. A multitude of tests later and I was given the all clear. The relief brought me and my partner to tears. She demanded I leave the school. Once again it was stress related. I never sought my doctor’s advice, I never signed off sick, I never took time off. I felt ‘obliged’ to my job. Management expressed their feelings yet a couple of weeks later it was as if nothing had happened to me. I had gotten over it. I was back at work. I was expected to be outstanding all the time, nothing less.

I resigned from the school in 2016.

My health has improved considerably since then. Apart from a blip during my disastrous venture into Deputy Headship where I was shouted at by the headteacher (another story) I have been on the road to complete recovery and mental stability.

Now I point the finger of blame at myself. I should have recognised the warning signs. I should have acted sooner and shouted more loudly. I didn’t. The education system in England has become poisoned with data, ill conceived marking policies, fixations on passing tests at the expense of a wider and richer curriculum. Thankfully Ofsted have recognised this and have published their myth busting documents, changes to school inspections and recent speeches. But more needs to be done as the message is not sinking in. Too many schools are ignoring the advice and are continuing with a rule of fear. Too many schools are putting too much pressure on their staff. Too many schools are ignoring common sense.

Recognise the signs and act upon them. Your good health is more important than turning up for work as a quivering wreck. Your school needs to understand this. If your school doesn’t, resign. No school is worth ill health.

Favourite education blogger posts of 2017

2017 has been quite a year for Education bloggers. These posts have questioned my beliefs in education, they have informed me and made me think. Best of all, they have caused a ripple in Education in England. A ripple that that demonstrates schools can do things differently whilst achieving fantastic outcomes for their students and improved well-being for their staff.

‘The scourge of motivational posters and the problem with pop psychology in the classroom’ written by Carl Hendrick exposes the seemingly well intentioned increase of such posters in schools and  whether they may be doing more harm than good.

Memory not memories – teaching for long term learning written by Clare Sealy, asks the question ‘Does the best learning result from memorable experiences?‘ and examines episodic and semantic memory to get to the answer. An essential read. 
Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One’s Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity a paper written by Adrian F. Ward, Kristen Duke, Ayelet Gneezy, and Maarten W. Bos asked whether having a smartphone, even within ones reach, reduced ones cognitive capabilities. Seriously thought provoking and it made me question and rethink my current students’ use of their own smartphones during lectures and seminars.


 ‘Everything now: resisting the urge to implement too much too soon‘ is written by Phil Stock and is a warning for those schools that ‘still tend to rush towards implementing each and every new idea that comes along without engaging in any real process of critical evaluation‘ especially when it conforms to their biases.

Teaching and Learning Research Summaries: A collection for easy access.‘ is a collection of research articles shared by Tom Sherrington. Getting access to informed and relevant research can be a little hit and miss. This post provides links for those searching for research that will have a positive impact on their schools.



‘Targeting Teachers‘ written by Mark Enser shows how simply asking an innocent enough question on Twitter can provide the most illuminating answers that end up as a blog post. In this case, Mark asks why we write targets, who they are for then provides a wonderfully simple yet powerful solution.

Curriculum series number one: Curriculum chaos” is the first in a series of posts written by Martin Robinson which he hopes ‘go some way to help achieve a shared understanding as to what different approaches to curriculum might mean, the theoretical underpinning of these approaches, an understanding of the language involved and recommend certain approaches to curriculum planning that might add to the material that is helping curriculum design to once again become centre stage in education debates.‘ Read them all if you are rethinking your Curriculum approach in school.




No written marking. Job done‘ written by Andrew Percival to detail his school’s whole class feedback approach and the rewards to be gained when it is carefully considered and implemented. 


These are just a selection of the many inspiring posts that I have read this year. I hope you find them as useful as I have and perhaps they might lead you to question your own educational beliefs.

Thank you for making me think

My new role as a Senior Lecturer in Primary Education has opened up a world of research that was just out of my reach as a primary teacher due to a severely limited budget and a local library that never stocked such literature. Instead, I used Twitter to keep in contact with those that had access to research and who would kindly share their findings on blog posts. People such as Clare Sealy, Carl Henrick, Martin Robinson, Tom Sherrington, Tom Bennett, Daisy ChristodoulouBen NewmarkDavid DidauDavid Weston, Joe Kirby, and many more, became, and continue to be, my go to educators for research focused discussion. Their posts helped form a period of enlightenment for me. They helped me question my own pedagogical approach, make me think about what I was actually doing in the classroom and made me want to find out more. Thank you for this spark as it helped improve my teaching for the better. Working in a school can feel safe and secure but my practice never seemed to improve through the use of lesson observations. I felt like I was merely meeting the needs of the tickbox observation approach so that is why I used Twitter to connect to other like minded, and not so like minded individuals, to help inform and indulge my curiosity about education and help improve my practice.

Challenging my thinking.
My teaching approach has changed over the years and for the better. I barely remember the young, bright eyed teacher I was when I first started in 1997. I full of energy, very enthusiastic and my teaching approach was similar. My teaching was dominated by the Literacy and Numeracy hour approaches and my Headteacher insisted upon it for every other lesson too. I questioned the approach as it wasn’t one that was used in Northern Ireland primary schools but was told that I was now in England and had to use it. Later in my career, whilst teaching in Spain, I had to revise my approach to meet expectations of the observation form. As long as my teaching ticked off what was on the form I was either a good or outstanding teacher. But I wasn’t impressed. Teaching couldn’t be condensed into a form to be ticked off, could it? I returned to England some time later and to my surprise the observation form and what Ofsted appeared to want ruled everything. My every move as a teacher would be questioned and if it wasn’t part of the observation checklist or meet the latest non-negotiables then I could kiss goodbye to the Good and Outstanding gradings. I continued to question what was happening, to challenge these beliefs but, more often than not, I would be told to get on with the job and just do as I was told. Yet, even though my curiosity was being stifled, I continued to ask and search for answers. I wasn’t going to get them from those around me in my bubble at school so I had to look elsewhere. I looked through my timeline on Twitter to find new educators to follow,  people that would challenge my assumptions and make me think.

Making me think about
Daisy Christodoulou’s book ‘Seven Myths about Education‘ challenged my assumptions, chewed them up and spat them out. It felt like been slapped in the face yet it was a fantastic and enlightening read. It made me think about our education system more carefully and it continues to provide me with questions today. Tom Bennett made me think about behaviour systems in schools and why using Minecraft in your lessons could be nothing more than a gimmick. David Didau has made me think about numerous educational matters, some of which I have agreed with and others I haven’t. He got me to think about plenaries, marking and even the word pedagogy. Clare Sealy peaked my thinking throughout the last two years with an incredible series of blog posts about marking, observation and, most recently, memory.

I’ve been at Bishop Grossteste University since September and I am loving the opportunities it has provided me to further my interest in educational philosophy. I can now indulge my interests due to having access to a wealth of literature that continues to question my beliefs in education just like those aforementioned above continue to do so.

I’ve got some reading and reflecting to do.

Second guessing the observer

Schools usually observe their staff three times a year and a typical observation in a typical school goes along the following lines. The management (SLT) inform the staff when they will be observed. The staff check the dates then plan over the top lessons to show off their teaching skills and a multitude of learning activities that they think will meet the needs of the observation form. The observer comes in for an hour, observes the prepared lesson and checks it off against the school’s so-called Ofsted proof observation check list. The teachers have access to this so called Ofsted proof list so will try to make sure the prepared observed lesson meets all the points on the it.
Instead of an example of how the teacher teaches on a day to day basis we end up with an all singing, all dancing, resource filled, three part mini plenary firework induced New Year’s Eve lesson that attempts to check off all the ticks on the observer’s form. The observation takes place and if the majority of ticks/green highlighted marks are in the outstanding columns the lesson is deemed outstanding which in turn promulgates the SLT deemed outstanding lesson format across the school. If the marks are found further across/down the tick sheet the lesson is deemed good/requires improvement/something you don’t want to hear.

I would like to state that the above is a farce.

Teachers do not improve their teaching through this inane process. It only permeates the fallacy of the show off lesson and makes teachers work towards a box ticking exercise that has somehow being tied into performance management. Unfortunately, this is the current teacher improvement process that exists in schools today. It’s an absolute joke and must be done away with. It does not improve teaching, it only makes teachers more stressed in an environment that has already become overtly stressful. So what can be done to alleviate the show off lesson observation culture and create a culture that helps teachers to improve their teaching? I recently read a post from a head teacher in London that has created such a process.

The idea is that schools rid themselves of the ridiculousness of one hour lesson observations carried out three times a year to be replaced by 10 minute weekly drop ins with same day feedback via email. The process is simple – it’s built on trust, guided by a philosophy to support and improve teaching and agreed upon by all staff. The post was from Clare Sealy, a Head Teacher in London, and I suggested the same approach to my own school. They read her post, followed it up, asked more questions and low and behold, they are trialling the approach this term.

If you have an idea to make observations work for your school then talk to your SLT. Tell them, show them, explain it and who knows, maybe you too can have an observation process that improves teaching and learning rather than promotes the New Year’s Eve Lesson display.

Enforce your primary school behaviour policy

Riot Control Formation (13253163743)
Thankfully we have no need of riot control in Primary Schools but according to some out there, behaviour in the primary classroom is getting out of control. I hear stories of teachers that dread a certain class because they know who is coming up, they despair at the thought of no uniform day because they know how certain children will react, they complain to SLT about the same children day after day but nothing ever seems to be done. Behaviour in a primary school must set the standard, there should be no excuses for poor behaviour. None. Yet, stories like this and many more tell a different story. So why does this happen, why does poor behaviour exist in primaries and why do some allow it to fester?
Every primary has a behaviour policy. That policy has to be followed, no, enforced, by every member of staff in the school. Not just the teachers but everyone. Even the caretaker. Everyone has a part to play to make sure the behaviour policy of the school is enforced. From the moment children walk into the school in EYFS until they leave Y6, there should be no excuses made for not following it. And this is where I consider the problem to be. Not with the so-called misbehaving children but with the staff and SLT who are not enforcing their own policy. 
Enforce your behaviour policy and stick to it. Never deviate from it, don’t make exceptions.