So, you’re given a new class, or if a HoY an entire new year group. The teacher(s) who had them before you handover some data on the students’ behaviour over the past year. Inevitably, there are some students who have been challenging. Comments such as “disengaged”, “cause for concern” or “unmotivated” appear for certain pupils.

Is this labelling students or using data to support the teaching and learning process?

There’s one camp that sees this as labelling students. They believe the pupils should be given a completely fresh start and no ‘negative’ information shared with new teachers in fear of the students being labelled and written off before they’ve even got going! I can see the argument here.

Equally valid an argument is the one that says to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Having important information on individual pupils could be vital in planning for their success or using strategies to better support their needs.

Which camp are you in ?