University of Exeter
Tools for Schools
Consistency in response to rule breaking

Consistency in response to rule breaking

Key Points

This strategy is to help you understand why consistency is important when working with the toolkit student, and to find an easy way for you to remember those steps when in the middle of interacting with them

How is this tweaked for flex?

Children may really struggle with perceptions of unfair treatment, or to accept when they are acting outside of boundaries and are going to receive a consequence. They may not be able to link you warning them of a consequence with it then happening. This strategy breaks that down into 3 steps, including visual indicators to make it very clear to the child what will happen next

  • Watch the consistency is key video
  • Using the reactive action template, note down some times when you have reacted in a way that you later felt was not the best course of action, think through why this happened and next time, what would be a better approach
  • Was there anything that came up that you need help from others to change? If so, talk to your SENCo or senior leadership about the changes
  • Decide on what steps you are going to take with the toolkit student when they are not complying or have broken a classroom or school rule
  • Put these onto the ‘three little things’ template, print it out (we've suggested some ideas)
  • Introduce the new system to the class, making it very clear that you will follow these three steps when a student is not following the rules. Talk through some examples with them
  • Use the three steps when a student breaks the rules! Explicitly link your response to the three steps with them 
  • After a few days, use the reflection template to capture how much you are remembering to use the new actions with students, and their response to this
  • Based on the reflection template, is there anything that you can change to make this work more effectively?
  • Do you need to move the physical position of the three little things sheet, or find a way to remind yourself to use it?
  • Do the students understand the process or do you need to make this clearer, either by talking through more examples with them or changing the way the actions are written and communicated?