It takes brains, not brawn, to manage challenging pupils

Behaviour management should not be viewed as the preserve of burly men with a military background , says Jarlath O’Brien

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“We need some more burly men round here!” was the memorable opening comment from a colleague to a debrief that I undertook as a deputy headteacher a few years ago following a serious incident at our school.

I had been a deputy for a matter of weeks but was acting up with a fellow deputy as our headteacher was recuperating from hip replacement surgery.

On this particular afternoon, Josh had kicked in a glass door pane, set off the fire alarm and ended up on the roof of the headteacher’s flat (it was a residential school) just as we were finishing for the day. I was called to assist while ...

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