About Team Teach – Information For Parents & Carers of Children

Who are Team Teach?

We know what a joy and privilege it is to work with children and young people in schools and other services. And we understand that, as parents and carers, you want to know that your child is happy, safe, and well looked after by everyone.

That’s why Team Teach are committed to transforming thinking around behaviour and helping staff create positive, supportive environments where every child and young person can thrive.

Team Teach train staff working in schools and health and social care settings to support children and young people with their behaviour. To date, we have trained over 300,000 people in more than 25 countries around the world.

Our approach to behaviour focuses on understanding how someone is feeling and why they may be behaving in a particular way. This helps staff build positive relationships with children and young people, find the best ways to support them, and reduce risk to keep everyone safe.

Meet Jonathan Newport

Jonathan is the Global Director at Team Teach. He is a behaviour specialist with over 30 years’ experience in education.

Jonathan loves working with children and young people. He started his career in a primary school, and it was here that he developed a passion for a puzzle-solving approach to behaviour. This journey led him to work across a range of primary and secondary schools, including 17 years leading Barnardo’s largest residential special school.

Working at Team Teach is Jonathan’s dream job because he gets to make a difference for children and young people across the world, through training the staff that support them. He knows that supporting staff to better understand children’s needs can transform lives and improve wellbeing for everyone.

Jonathan Newport – helping children and young people flourish

All About Team Teach

We think it’s important to think about why we’re doing something before we decide what we’re going to do or how we’re going to do it. We help organisations think about their own ‘why’ to make sure they put children and young people at the centre of their thinking, planning and how they respond to behaviour.

At Team Teach, we think about behaviour as a puzzle. We need to put the pieces together to work out why a child or young person is engaging in a particular behaviour, rather than focusing only on the behaviour itself. This allows us to decide on the best ways to support them.

We encourage staff to ask themselves these questions before making decisions about behaviour support. This can help to reduce risk and keep everyone safe:

  • How is this in the best interests of the child or young person?

  • If we didn’t take this action, is something worse likely to happen?

  • Is it necessary to do this?

  • If we wait, is it likely to get better or worse?

We talk about behaviour as a way of communicating a need, and it’s our job to work out what that need is. Perhaps a child or young person is feeling overwhelmed or overstimulated; maybe they are trying to avoid a certain situation; or they could be seeking a connection with us.

We help staff to think about the best ways to respond when someone is feeling distressed or dysregulated, encouraging them to look beyond the behaviour. Our training equips them with a toolkit of ideas they can use to support children and young people.

Most of our training is focused on supporting a child or young person before they become distressed and intervening early to help them calm down. This is called ‘de-escalation’.

We can decide on the best de-escalation strategies by getting to know every child and young person as a unique individual. What works well for one person might not be effective for someone else. That’s why it’s important for staff to build strong professional relationships with every child and young person they support.

Over time, our goal is for a child or young person to realise when they are feeling dysregulated and take action before they reach a crisis point, to help themselves safely calm down. This is called ‘self-regulation’.

We believe that strong relationships are key to supporting children and young people. When we get to know them on an individual basis, we can use this information to forge connections built on trust and mutual respect.

When children feel seen, heard, and valued by us, they feel safe and secure in their environment and are better able to regulate their emotions.

Some children and young people have an individual support plan that explains their strengths and interests, what they may find difficult, and how everyone involved in their care can best support them. An individual support plan may be known by a different name in the school or organisation working with your child.

If an individual support plan is created for your child, you should be told about it and given a copy, along with anyone else involved in their care. We recommend that schools and organisations involve you and your child in creating the plan so you can share your ideas.

When something has gone wrong, it’s important for staff to understand what has happened, support everyone involved, and find ways to reduce the likelihood of it happening again in the future.

After something has happened, staff should:

  • Give emotional and physical first aid: This should be the priority for everyone involved.
  • Record and report: An incident report should be written after a significant event and be shared with you and others involved in supporting your child.
  • Conversations: Everyone involved should have the opportunity to talk about how they feel.
  • Telling people: If your child has a support plan, this should be shared with you and everyone involved in your child’s care.
  • Risk assessment: Staff will decide what needs to happen now to reduce risk for everyone, including your child.
  • Updating plans: It’s important that any support plans contain all the information needed to best support your child.

When something has gone wrong, you should have the opportunity to talk about it and be listened to. It’s important that you understand what has happened, when it happened, and why it may have happened. The school or organisation supporting your child should give you an honest and factual account. They should also tell you about what has been recorded about the incident and who has been told about it.

You should be involved in discussions about how to reduce the likelihood of this happening again and given the opportunity to share your views. Staff should explain what they are putting in place to support your child and share plans and strategies with you.

Sometimes, despite everyone’s best efforts, incidents can and do happen. The question is: what should happen to support your child afterwards and how can staff re-build the relationship with them?

Our training includes having conversations with a child or young person after an incident to help understand what happened and why it happened. This helps staff understand where things went wrong and can help the child or young person to find different strategies that could help them in the future.

A physical intervention means guiding, holding, or moving a child or young person away from a situation to keep them, and others around them, safe. It can be as simple as holding hands, linking arms, or touching your child’s shoulder. This can provide comfort and reassurance for your child if they are distressed.

However, there may be occasions when your child’s behaviour is a serious risk to themselves or others around them. Staff may decide that they have to hold your child to keep everyone safe. We train staff in safe ways to do this to reduce the risk for everyone.

Physical interventions to hold your child should be used as a last resort, and staff should use the least restrictive intervention that is likely to be successful in supporting your child. Any physical intervention must be deemed reasonable, necessary, and proportionate to the risk it is trying to reduce.

If physical interventions are part of how your child is being supported, this should be recorded in their individual support plan and shared with you. It’s a good idea to ask questions if you are unsure about anything, to make sure you fully understand how your child is being supported.

Our physical interventions are medically risk-assessed and the staff we train to use them must attend regular refresher training. Our training helps to reduce the likelihood of physical interventions being used, because we help staff take positive action before a child or young person is in crisis.

All of our courses are CPD certified by the CPD Certification Service and carried out by experienced trainers. Our trainers undergo a rigorous re-accreditation process on a regular basis to ensure that their practice is always up-to-date and in line with the latest developments around behaviour support.

We advocate a ‘whole organisation’ approach to training where possible so that every member of staff understands our ethos around behaviour support.

Through our training, we develop and promote teamwork, relationship-building, personal safety, communication, and verbal and non-verbal de-escalation techniques for supporting behaviour. Our staff training courses for organisations includes:

  • Building respectful relationships
  • Creating a toolbox of positive behaviour strategies
  • Developing effective communication with individuals and within teams
  • De-escalating situations
  • Understanding legal frameworks
  • Promoting safety and safeguarding
  • Reducing unnecessary restrictive practices
  • Recording and reporting systems
  • Restoring and repairing relationships
  • Building confidence in managing situations safely

My Family Coach

My Family Coach is a free website powered by Team Teach.

With My Family Coach, your parents and carers are empowered with the information they need to understand behaviour that challenges. It’s full of helpful support for the families in your school and creates stronger links between school and home. All our resources are free for your families to enjoy.

We’re Here to Help

We all have times when we need some parenting support. With My Family Coach, you get all the help you need.

Our help and ideas cover every‌ ‌stage‌ ‌of‌ ‌your‌ ‌child’s‌ ‌development. We’ll support you through the tough times, inspire you with new ideas, and share practical tips to make parenting that little bit easier.

What to do if you’d like to find out more about Team Teach

The school or organisation your child attends should have a behaviour policy, although this may be known by a different name. This should explain how they will support everyone with behaviour. You can also talk to staff in the organisation your child attends if you have any question, or would like to have something explained further.