Yet again this weekend there have been examples shown of really poorly worded job descriptions / adverts that have exposed underlying views that are really concerning with respect to the needs of children with behavioural concerns. So, to help, I have put this handy guide together of what you can say instead featuring real quotes from actual adverts.

Instead of… Say… Because..
We have a high expectation of all children We have high expectations of all children Expectations are informed by knowledge. The best expectations acknowledge a starting position and support to push beyond it.
We don’t want would-be counsellors We want staff who can maintain professional yet empathetic boundaries with children. Starting from a point of “we don’t expect you to listen” when someone is going to inevitably be a point of contact for a child or have to spend a lot of time with a child (detention, isolation – sounds like preferred choice is the discipline route is being emphasised) is a potential safeguarding nightmare and a barrier to meeting needs.
We don’t want people who want to be every child’s best friend It is important you are able to maintain the difficult balance between supporting a child and helping them do better next time. The relationship must be one that enables trust and safety but is not inconsistent. This is difficult and so we will support you in this process through supervision. It’s easy to take an extreme approach to behaviour – cracking down on every breath or doing nothing. What’s harder is navigating the wilderness in between to make the real progress.
We are going to pay you just above the rate you might get in a supermarket We are going to pay you as we might a teacher or HLTA because the skills you will need are in incredibly short supply and the job is incredibly draining. Value this work – it will pay itself back twice over.
Children need clear firm discipline to succeed. Most children just need consistency, routines and well established boundaries. For the children you will be working with, clearly they will need a more bespoke approach and we expect you to work with them to identify these barriers and help overcome them. Doing the same thing louder isn’t going to change anything.
You do not need any experience You need a LOT of experience This role is potentially the most impactful one in the whole school, at an individual level and at an organisational level.
We believe a reason is not an excuse We take context into consideration not to excuse behaviour, but to identify how to support change, meet needs and prevent reoccurance. Because it’s the least we can do.
Strong discipline, no excuses Strongly curious to understand behavioural needs. No excuses CANNOT exist. We have established this. At a literal level its discriminatory.
Children should be obedient at all times Children should be taught the skills they need to manage in a wide range of organisational and social settings. We shouldn’t want children to be obedient at all times. I want them to think for themselves and challenge when something is wrong. Keeping quiet has caused much harm.
This role is for a disciplinarian This role is for someone who can connect with a child and disconnect from the behaviour. You can’t shout needs into being met.