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Spring Meadow

Primary School

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Relationships and Behaviour (including support for children with social, emotional and mental health needs)

School Values

At our Spring Meadow Primary School and School House Nursery,  we believe in the importance of relationships to ensure that children feel valued, safe and secure.  Relationships also provide a sense of connection with members of staff and of belonging to the whole school community. 

 

Our school reflects the values of the Essex Approach to understanding behaviour and supporting emotional wellbeing known as Trauma Perceptive Practice (TPP).  The TPP values are: 

  • Compassion and Kindness
  • Hope 
  • Connection and Belonging

 

We endeavour to make sure that at our school these values run through all the school policies and practice.  Our own values of Aspiration, Social Justice, Perseverance, Inclusion, Resilience and Equity support the principles of TPP.

 

Our practice is also underpinned by the Local Authority ‘Ordinarily Available’ Strategy that defines the provision that should be in place for ALL pupils in our school.

 

Policy Aims

  • To ensure all pupils feel safe within our school and develop positive, trusting relationships with all members of the school community.
  • To develop teacher and pupil relationships that are  built on mutual respect, trust, friendship and acceptance of each other’s wishes.
  • To develop a clear understanding of trauma and childhood diversity underpins our approach to all relationships within our school community.
  • To ensure there is a culture across all areas of Spring Meadow Primary School & ‘School House’ Nursery that values all pupils, allowing them to feel a sense of belonging where our pupils are able to seek emotional and well-being support from all staff members.
  • To develop effective working relationships with all parents and carers so they feel equipped to support their children. 
  • To support each child to develop self-belief  and pride in their own efforts and achievements.
  • To provide a clear, fair and consistent approach to all behaviours.
  • To help develop our children’s understanding of appropriate behaviour and self-regulation.
  • To ensure that our children are intrinsically motivated to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.
  • To ensure we see all behaviour as a communication from the children and therefore aim to develop a sense of curiosity in all staff to explore what is being communicated to us and why.

 

School Ethos

It is a core aim of our school that every member of the school community feels valued and respected, and that each person is treated fairly and well. We are a caring community, whose values are built on mutual trust and respect for all. This Relationships and Behaviour policy is therefore designed to support the way in which all members of the school can live and work together in a supportive way. It aims to promote an environment where everyone feels happy, safe, secure and able to learn.

 

We value each individual child and work with families, the community and beyond to offer diverse experiences and support for pupils and families in a caring and safe environment. We develop children to be confident, life-long learners and compassionate, respectful members of their community and the world.

 

We always prioritise the safety of our children and staff. Everything we do in school is underpinned by our safeguarding procedures.

 

Strong relationships between staff and pupils are vital. Our staff are fair and consistent with our children, (considering individual needs), enabling pupils to feel safe. Equally, our staff are approachable and curious to learn each child as an individual and there to help first and we help our children to understand this. It is also recognised that for some children and young people, variance on these processes will be made in order to meet any specific social, emotional, learning or other needs which require a personalised approach.

 

Our Statement of Behaviour Principles

We believe that:

  • Respectful relationships are the key to high standards of behaviour and well-being.
  • Our approach to pupil behaviour must be consistent and fair
  • Our consistency must be rooted in kindness and understanding
  • A nurturing approach supports our high expectations and that these work equally alongside each other
  • All adults have a role to play in promoting and modelling positive behaviour
  • All children require a personalised approach from adults in order for them to reach their full potential
  • Our school has a culture of ‘above and beyond’ behaviour: for learning, for our community and for life.
  • We must have an unconditional positive regard for all members of our school community.
  • Through co-regulation our children can learn self-regulation.
  • Nurture provision is a statutory part of the children’s curriculum diet, it is neither a sanction nor a reward
  • Every child needs a champion and that champion must be us

A Relational Behaviour Model

At our school we have adopted and use the relational behaviour model which is the approach from TPP.  

 

Behaviour is something to

interpret

Children and young people 

are prone to make mistakes and highly responsive to the environment and the context

Behaviour management is predominantly through

relationships

Children who don’t manage should be

understood and included

Boundaries and limits are to 

keep everyone safe and to meet everyone’s needs

Rules should be 

developed together and adapted where needed

Consequences are 

only used within a process of restore and repair

‘Inappropriate’ behaviour is

a sign of unmet need, stress (difficulty in coping), lack of understanding and skills

The causes of the difficulties are

mostly in the environment and within the context of relationships

The solutions lie in

understanding what the behaviour tells us about the child and their need

Practice and policy effectiveness is measured by

wellbeing and the capacity to adapt and make reasonable adjustments to meet the needs

‘Stress regulators not behaviour managers’

Taken from ‘Know Me to Teach Me’  Louise Michelle Bomber‘

 General Expectations

We have high expectations for our children, while recognising many children have specific and individual needs. The following expectations cover all times of the school day and where children are representing the school out of hours or off site. This means we:

  • encourage a positive attitude to learning within a safe, happy environment
  • promote high expectations and enable pupils to become independent responsible learners
  • encourage a sense of respect for our community and our environment
  • believe that clear, consistent routines and systems are essential to support children and young people’s development and ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone in our school community

 

It is everyone’s responsibility to remind and support children when these expectations are not met, whatever the reason. Equally it is important to comment positively when they are being met. Staff model expected behaviours, attitudes and habits.

 

Any behaviour that falls below the expectations of our school (e.g., disruption to learning, unkind, disrespectful, unsafe, or inconsiderate actions), will require some level of intervention.  Remembering that every interaction is an intervention, it is important to remember that the strongest approach to support a child is through their relationship with the familiar adults in their class.  At all points we try to ensure we keep a strong connection with the child having difficulties.  We use positive recognition, as appropriate, to ensure the child knows we are still there, and that we recognise their effort and any changes they have made.

 

At our school, staff ensure clear expectations and good routines are in place for:

 

  • Start and end of the day
  • Transition times
  • Lining up e.g. assemblies and the lunch hall
  • Break and lunchtimes
  • Moving around the school
  • Lesson times

 

What do we do to teach and promote positive management of behaviour?

At Spring Meadow, we want to develop intrinsic motivation in our children i.e. we want them to display positive behaviours because they understand that this is the right thing to do, not because they are promised a reward or are afraid of sanctions or consequences.

 

All classrooms at Spring Meadow Primary School & ‘School House’ Nursery have an Appreciation board.  This is used to celebrate behaviour and attitudes which go ‘above and beyond’ for each individual child.  Once earned, this recognition cannot be withdrawn.  

 

‘Hot Chocolate Friday’ is a weekly reward for children who have gone consistently ‘above and beyond’ throughout the week.  

 

In addition, we anchor expected good behaviour through a range of reinforcements such as:

  • Sincere, precise and timely, verbal and written praise
  • Positive recognition through class and school achievement awards
  • Positive notes home
  • Positive phone calls home

 

Viewing behaviour as a learning process 

At our school we accept and understand that behaviour is a learning process. Children will push limits, boundaries, and societal norms as part of their development. They may also react in different ways to stress, boredom, lack of understanding, over-excitement, and disappointment. We  also consider that past trauma and / or emotional stress may impact and result in their reactions to certain situations, words, smells etc.  At our school staff view poor behaviour choices  as inevitable. This means that we offer support, help and guidance to the children so that they can learn from their behaviour responses and aim to make adjustments next time and to reduce the number of times the  unwanted responses are seen..  It is our role, as fully developed adults, to help guide children and young people, to make helpful and positive choices when they can, by listening to them and explaining the impact their behaviour has on others (known as co-regulation). We know that this is the best way to respond to our children’s behaviour and maintain our relationship with them.  The approach we strive for is based on the premise of ‘connection before correction’.

 

Our general responses to mistakes and incidents

Our school believes in the power of using restorative approaches. Such processes do not shy away from using consequences, such as loss of privileges where logical, they also focus on the need to take responsibility for finding a constructive way forward for all concerned.  This might mean a sincere apology followed by an act of kindness. Such approaches encourage the children of our school to think not only of the consequences of their behaviour on themselves, but also to consider the impact of their actions on others. 

 

In using this process at our school, we use four questions:

• What do you think happened?

• What were you feeling or thinking at the time? 

• Who has been affected? 

• What can we do to make things right? (What should happen next?)

 

 Using this approach, children have the opportunity to reflect on what’s happened and the impact this may have had on others. They can have the chance to show the person that has been affected by their action that they are sorry. This can be in the form of verbal, written, picture, or an action. Important to have in here that this process cannot be started until the child has had time and input to get pace to a state of self regulation and I think also important to state this must not be done the day after where at all possible this needs to be completed on the day nothing should mean the child goes home with this still ongoing the following day as this drastically increases anxiety and sets them up for the following day to already be of a heightened dysregulated state. 

  

Where possible, a logical consequence (natural reparation) is used e.g., clean graffiti off the door, clean up the mess, or pay for replacement of items. Where this is not possible a close alternative should be used. Again this should happen on the day they need to know the next day is a fresh start.

 

At our school the staff work with the child to ensure that they have learnt from an incident so that they can be successful next time. Teaching of the skills required may be necessary to enable a different outcome next time. The impact of our approach is evident in the relationships forged throughout the school. The strategies involved, which include active listening, respectful discussion and taking ownership of issues, result in a positive ethos. We are aware as a staff that this takes time and repetition to achieve a long term positive change in behaviour patterns.


 

Using logical consequences

 

The use of consequences

Consequences can be a useful response to behaviours, remembering that some behaviours result in positive consequences. When responding to unwanted behaviour, the consequences we use in our school always have a clear link to the incident and help the child or young person to learn how to behave more appropriately should a similar situation occur, tailoring this to the needs of the individual.

 

It is helpful to view consequences as protective and / or educational. Best practice suggests that all protective consequences should run alongside educational consequences, as it is unlikely that long-term behavioural change will occur without this. These consequences must be acted upon on the day not held over. It is good practice for the child to know when this is ended so a fresh start can be clear.

 

Protective consequences: these are required to protect the rights of others and keep a child or young person safe. At our school this may include:

  • increased staff ratio
  • change of school day / timetable (including reduced timetables where appropriate)
  • arrangements for access to outside space
  • child or young person escorted in social situations
  • differentiated teaching space
  • appropriate use of exclusion (using the time to reflect, amend plans and identify needs and other appropriate interventions to support the child or young person upon return).

 

Educational consequences: at our school we use these to teach, encourage, support and motivate the child or young person to behave differently next time through better understanding. Examples include:

  • ensuring the child or young person completes the task they have disrupted
  • rehearsing / modelling situations through intentional teaching of prosocial behaviour
  • ensure the child or young person assists with repairs where they have caused damage (when possible and practical)
  • intentionally provide educational opportunities for the child or young person to learn about the impact of certain actions and behaviours 
  • providing the child or young person with an opportunity to ‘put things right’ through a process of reflecting, repairing and restoring relationships (a restorative approach is an example of one).


 

Unwanted/unhelpful/antisocial behaviour

Possible Consequences

Relatively low impact

Examples: 

• Calling out 

• Distracting others 

• Refusal to complete assigned activity 

• Disrespectful comments 

• Swearing

Verbal Interventions– e.g.

 I know you (use the child’s name here) can behave better than this. I’d really like to see that.

Thank you (child’s name) could you just (give the child a job to do to distract).

 

Reflection support during break time or lunchtime with 

trusted adult.

 

I can see there’s something wrong (use their name) (acknowledge their right to their feelings)

 

I’m here to help and listen. Tell me what happened

 

Talk and I’ll listen (it may be possible for staff to find out how the situation has developed, or how it may be resolved)

 

Resolutions take place in class, by class adults and DO NOT need to be recorded on CPOMS

 

Relatively higher impact 

Examples: 

  • Physical harm to adults or other children
  • Bullying  
  • Any discriminatory behaviour 
  • Causing significant, deliberate damage to school property

1. SLT notified.

2. Opportunity for reflection.

3. Restorative approach followed. Including social and emotional package of work led by the Inclusion Team

Inclusion Leader to set an individualised programme to support the pupil.

4. Incident form completed for discriminatory incidents. 

5. Incident recorded. 

6. Parents notified by telephone by SLT member.

7. Outcome will be personalised based on previous behaviour, severity, response from pupil(s) this will be led by the Inclusion Leader

8. Withdrawn or changes to timetable. Parents/carers to be informed of decisions via phone or face to face.

9. If response leads to Fixed-term exclusion – parents/carers also notified in writing. Re-integration meeting to be held directly after fixed-term exclusion.


 

Ways to Record Incidents of Concern

 

We have a clear process and system in place to record incidents that occur. We use the information effectively to enable strategic oversight and to influence and review practice. We use the online system CPOMS to record behaviour and safeguarding concerns and actions.

 

How to record incidents using CPOMS 

CPOMS is the electronic management system that Spring Meadow Primary School uses to record, action and monitor safeguarding and behaviour concerns.

 

Every staff member has their own personal login which can be accessed at the following web address.  https://springmeadow.cpoms.net/   This means that all staff, whatever their role in school, are able to record and alert the relevant safeguarding staff and school leaders to any incident of concern.  In order that incidents can be clearly tracked, all staff should use their own logins to record incidents and not record the reports of others under their name.  Please ensure that each incident is recorded separately so that numbers and types of incidents can be accurately tracked.  It is important that the date and time of the incident is recorded accurately, by changing the date of the report.  Otherwise, the chronology of incidents cannot be tracked.

 

Staff will be able to view incidents that they have reported and any other incidents that they have been alerted to.  

 

Senior Leaders and the Inclusion Team have additional permissions which allow them to see and act on all reported incidents and undertake analysis of the information stored.  Their logins are protected by two-factor authentication to ensure confidentiality.

 

If you have a concern with safeguarding or behaviour you must update CPOMS as soon as possible after the event and at least by the end of the next day.  If you do not have time to make the report on the same day, please ensure that you have verbally updated the relevant people or sent a short email to alert them to an incident.   It is always advisable to complete CPOMS as soon as you can while events are fresh in your mind.

 

The table below shows who should be assigned to an incident (i.e. they need to take action / responsibility) and who should be alerted (i.e. those who need to be aware of the situation but do not necessarily need to act).  

 

Kind of Concern

Assign to….

Alert….

Safeguarding Concern (low level)

Mandy Theobald

Phase Leader

Classteacher 

Safeguarding Concern (high level)

Mandy Theobald

Nicky Patrick

Phase Leader

Behaviour (high level)

Phase Leader

Nicky Patrick

Emma Donegan

Aron Higgon-Williams

Nicola Neal

Class Teacher

 

All safeguarding concerns (however small) should be logged as they may be part of a bigger picture.  Low level concerns should be flagged to the classteacher, but serious concerns should not as a matter of course.  Mandy Theobald will consult with Nicky to agree who else needs to be made aware of serious concerns and referrals.

 

It is important that high level or persistent behaviour concerns are recorded so that an accurate picture can be built up over time to inform support requirements.  The Inclusion Team may well be involved in dealing with high level incidents but they should also be alerted to reports on CPOMS.  Minor behaviour issues such as refusal to complete work, or low level disruption in class does not need to be recorded on CPOMS (although you may wish to keep your  own records in class).

 

Each incident will need to be assigned to one or more predefined categories within the system.  Again, the accurate assignment of categories will support accurate tracking and analysis.

 

When reporting incidents of any kind, please make sure that reports are accurate and factual. You should avoid the use of emotive language such as ‘kicked off’ or ‘trashed the room’, instead please describe the behaviours themselves e.g. he then shouted “xxxxx” at Mrs X and ran out of the door throwing two chairs at the cupboard and overturning a table.  Please also ensure that any adults involved are named and their involvement is accurately recorded.  So ‘the incident was witnessed by 2 other adults’, please state for example, ‘ the incident was witnessed by Miss X and Mr Y.  Miss X was standing next to the tree and Mr Y was observing from a distance’.

 

It is also really important to make sure that any actions that you take following any incident are recorded including whether parents have been informed.

  

Further support and training can be provided if needed.

 

How we support children and young people with additional Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs

 

At our school, we acknowledge that some children will have additional needs. We recognise that children may experience a range of social, emotional, mental health needs which present themselves in many ways. These may lead to children displaying challenging, disruptive or stress related behaviours. These behaviours may also reflect underlying social interaction difficulties, developmental trauma, sensory or medical needs or clinically diagnosed needs such as autisic spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, foetal alcohol disorder or attachment difficulties. 

 

We will always endeavour to understand behaviour, support emotional wellbeing and make reasonable adjustments to our provision to support progress and engagement using a variety of strategies developed with key adults within the child’s life (these may include staff, family and /or professionals) in order to best meet their needs. In Essex, this is done in the context of the Ordinarily Available Strategy, supported by One Planning and an Educational Health and Care Plan where appropriate.  We also recognise the needs of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and follow the policies and procedures associated with supporting these children, including but not limited to, the SEND code of practice, Equal Opportunities and Disability Act.

 

We understand that the behaviour(s) most likely comes from a place of stress which may come from anxiety, fear or as a result of a barrier to learning or past trauma.  We have a duty to strive to help children return to a place of regulation, within their ‘Window of Tolerance’, as only then will the child be in a place to learn, connect and thrive.

 

Ways to Support Understanding

 

At our school we believe that understanding what the behaviour is communicating to us is the first part for planning a response. 


 

Our Principles - the things we will do as adults

 

  • Model compassion and kindness, provide hope and support connection and belonging
  • Understand that any event in a child’s life can impact on how they think, feel and act
  • Use logical (natural) consequences rather than just simply punishments or sanctions
  • Provide routines, set limits and have boundaries 
  • Regulate our own emotions (and understand when we need to step away and allow someone else to take over).
  • Prioritise relationships to ensure that all children feel safe and secure.

 

Our Responsibilities

 

All staff:

  • Are responsible for supporting the safety and other needs of children across the school. Where a child is seen to be having difficulties, they should be treated with respect and understanding
  • Always endeavour to have private discussions with the child in order to help support any issues that are arising rather than publicly addressing unwanted behaviours or attitudes
  • Use the key principles outlined in this policy to support the needs of all our children
  • Take responsibility for their own personal safety and wellbeing 
  • Contribute actively to risk assessments, and ensure that they are familiar with policies, guidelines, control measures, instructions and reporting procedures 
  • Participate positively in appropriate training and ‘buy in’ to our Trauma Informed approach to supporting our children
  • Follow the principle of ‘connection before correction’
  • Ensure a fresh start the following lesson/day never allow an incident to be discussed over and over again and therefore prevent the child from being able to learn and move on.

 

The Head Teacher:

  • Leads on all aspects of this policy
  • Is the only person authorised to exclude a child (or the deputy headteacher in their absence)
  • Ensures that risk assessments are carried out when required and that appropriate measures are implemented 
  • Ensures that all staff receive regular purposeful training to support relationships and minimise risk 
  • Ensures that all staff are provided with clear instructions for reporting incidents of harm and that all such reports are thoroughly investigated and responded to
  • Offers and provides appropriate support to staff following a stressful incident

 

Other Senior Leaders: 

  • Model and lead on all aspects of this policy
  • Ensure the policy is implemented effectively and consistently
  • Ensure all staff are appropriately trained 
  • Oversee the specific needs of all children across the school
  • Provide support to staff, pupils and parents as necessary
  • Link with outside agencies to access additional services
  • Ensure that all tracking and reporting of incidents and additional needs is completed in a timely and accurate fashion

 

Classroom Staff (teachers and LSAs): 

  • Plan the teaching and learning for all children using the ‘Ordinarily Available’ Framework to support
  • Include parents/carers in personalised planning for their child
  • Communicate regularly with parents/carers about their child’s needs
  • Provide specific support for children and young people experiencing any difficulties, whether this is an ongoing need or a short term difficulty that a child may be having.
  • Report behaviour and safeguarding concerns on CPOMS in line with guidance

 

Family:

  • Inform the school of any concerns about changes in their child’s behaviour, emotional wellbeing or mental health 
  • Have open conversations with the school
  • Engage with support offered by the school and other agencies to further support their child’s needs

 

Governors 

  • Ensure that appropriate policies are in place, that they are regularly reviewed, and their effectiveness monitored
  • Spend time in school to see the impact of this policy and maintain supportive dialogue with staff 
  • Consider families’ representations about an exclusion
  • Undertake their statutory role around exclusion
  • Ensure that all staff receive purposeful training in order that they can undertake their role

 

Harm from dysregulated (stressed) behaviour

Our school always prioritises the safety and welfare of all staff and children, recognising that everyone is entitled to a safe and supportive environment. Any incident (verbal or physical) which compromises safety can be perceived as harmful.  Our staff understand through training that this behaviour is not necessarily deliberate, rather it is often due to a stress response, however it is never acceptable for a child or adult to be physically or emotionally hurt.

 

Supporting those who have been harmed

Our staff and children receive the individual support they need in response to any incident where the behaviour has compromised the wellbeing of someone else, causing harm.  Occasionally there may be times, despite all reasonably practicable measures being taken, when prevention is unsuccessful, and someone is harmed.  At these times our school ensures that this person (adult or child) is fully supported. 

 

We always consider the following: 

  • Are they physically safe and protected?
  • Do they need immediate first aid & medical treatment?
  • Is there a need for immediate police involvement?
  • Ensure they have the opportunity to talk about the incident either with a trusted person or other independent service 
  • Give reassurance to reduce feelings of guilt and/or anxiety   

 

Our school recognises that some people are more at risk than others in their work, and where this is the case, we ensure there is appropriate support available. 

 

Risk Assessment Process

In our school we use a risk assessment process as the starting point for preventing harm for identified vulnerable children. It identifies what is likely to cause stress to them, using all the information known about the child. Once all this information is at hand, a strategy for supporting a situation appropriately and keeping everyone safe can be developed. An example of information to be included in the risk assessment can be found in the appendices.

 

Physical intervention (control and restraint) - the use of reasonable force

At our school we make sure we are aware of our duties of care and follow the law. The law states that it is permissible to use reasonable force to prevent pupils committing an offence, injuring themselves or others, or damaging property, and to maintain good order and discipline in the classroom. 

 

The use of physical intervention techniques is only one aspect of co-regulation and is the last resort when it is deemed absolutely necessary. It may resolve a short-term situation, but the long-term aim must be to help the child or young person to be able to self-regulate during times of stress.

 

If such actions are necessary, the actions that we take aim to use the minimum amount of force necessary for the minimum amount of time necessary. Where physical intervention is needed, this is recorded and reported immediately to the head teacher. 

 

Our school follows this Essex Guidance ‘Understanding and Supporting Behaviour - Safe Practice for Schools and Educational Settings (Including the use of restrictive / non-restrictive physical intervention)’ 

It can be found here

Social, Emotional and Mental Health Portal for Schools, Colleges and Settings - Essex Guidance and Let's Talk Resources

 

Within this guidance, it is regarded as best practice to record every incident where the use of restraint has been deemed absolutely necessary and to follow the other recommendations set out in this document. 

This includes reporting to ECC via MySafety.

 

Where it has been deemed necessary to use a restrictive physical intervention, the detail of this should be accurately recorded and the incident communicated to parents. Parents should be informed of the incident initially by phone and it should then be followed up in writing.  


 

Screening and searching pupils

At our school we are all aware that there are two sets of legal provisions which enable school staff to confiscate items from pupils:

‘The general power to discipline’ and the ‘Power to search without consent’; from the ‘Behaviour and discipline in Schools - Advice for headteachers and school staff’ (January 2016) 

Behaviour and Discipline in Schools - A guide for headteachers and school staff final draft.docx (publishing.service.gov.uk)

 

From this guidance our staff understand that they may confiscate items that are of high value, deemed inappropriate and are against the school policies or are causing concern. Where a specific policy about the item does not exist, the teacher should use their discretion about whether the item is returned to the child or to their parent/guardian. Items returned to the child should usually be returned no later than the end of that school day.  If the item needs collecting by a parent/guardian, the teacher should ensure that the parent/guardian is made aware that an item has been confiscated – either through the child or via text/phone call.  Where the item is of high value or deemed inappropriate, contact should be made directly with the parent/guardian.

 

Staff do have the power to search without consent for “prohibited items” including:

  • tobacco, cigarette papers and vapes
  • fireworks
  • pornographic images
  • stolen items
  • knives and weapons
  • alcohol
  • illegal drug
  • any article that has been or is likely to be used to commit an offence, cause personal injury or damage to property; and any item banned by the school rules which has been identified in the rules as an item which may be searched for.  The legislation  sets out what must be done with prohibited items found as a result of a search.    

Reviewed: Summer 2022

Next Review: Summer 2023

You can download our Relationships and Behaviour Policy here

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