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Rewards and sanctions

Find out how rewards and sanctions fit into a behaviour policy, and how you can use them effectively to make sure they have an impact.

The behaviour policy

Your behaviour policy will be more effective if you have a clear hierarchy of rewards and sanctions, reflecting different levels of behaviour. The policy can also explain the reasons for using rewards and sanctions.

Using rewards and sanctions

A system of rewards and sanctions is crucial to establishing a positive ethos and high standards of behaviour. They can reflect the values of the school and be:

  • closely monitored
  • used consistently by all staff
  • part of an early intervention strategy that promotes positive behaviour.

Balancing rewards and sanctions

An effective rewards system will be underpinned by a positive climate. Where this is established, the use of praise, encouragement and rewards will far outweigh the use of sanctions.

Effective sanctions are designed to change behaviours rather than be solely a punishment. If sanctions have to be frequently applied it is likely that they are not being effective.

Making rewards and sanctions effective

Effective rewards and sanctions have certain characteristics. If you are trying to build a structured system of rewards and sanctions, refer to the characteristics on the following pages. This will help you to evaluate your current practice and take necessary action.