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Secondary SEAL: Implementation

What is a whole-school approach?

A whole-school approach essentially means thinking holistically, looking at the whole context including organisation, structures, procedures and ethos, not just at individual pupils or at one part of the picture only (Antidote, 2003). There is very good evidence to underpin this educational approach. Whole-school approaches have been shown conclusively to be more effective in improving every aspect of school life (Weare, 2000). Programmes that focus on the curriculum, the environment and the community have been shown to be more successful in improving behaviour, learning, attendance and staff effectiveness than those that focus on only one of these aspects.

Schools are likely to be involved in a whole-school approach in a number of different areas. Whatever the theme, the unifying feature will be that action is taken at a range of levels, for example leadership, policy, curriculum and environment. Work on social and emotional skills may well enhance other work in school and help take them forward more effectively.