Adi Bloom

Refusing to touch pupils is abuse, psychologists claim

Teachers are afraid to touch students – but experts say such physical contact is ‘oxygen’ for children

Magazine article image

Seeing a child they knew in tears, most adults would respond instinctively, with comfort and hugs.

Teachers, however, tend to rise above this instinct: fear of prosecution is often greater than concern for the upset child.

But now psychologists have warned that refusing to touch pupils during their dayto-day classroom interactions is a form of child abuse.

Members of the British Psychological Society (BPS) have said that teachers who do not touch children when they are happy, upset or worried could cause harm, hampering pupils’ development.

“What’s missing is a recognition of how important ...

Subscribe to continue reading

Get full access to our magazine to keep up-to-date with the latest education research, insight and analysis – including audio articles and back issues

Other articles in this issue