Handy hints

24th March 2000 at 00:00
Dealing with an aggressive parent

All parents are protective of their children and can get angry with the school, or with a teacher.

* Some angry parents are known to teachers, and you can plan your response and seek support. Use delaying tactics ("I can see you in five minutes, please have a seat") to make cooling-off time.

* If you feel threatened, or if you are in charge of children, don't try to deal with a hostile visitor. Use the emergency procedure, or send a pupil to fetch someone.

* Only try to deal with an angry person if you feel physically safe, and are not cornered or isolated.

* Be calm and confident. Dont argue. Don't patronise - saying "Please calm down", for example, invites the angry response, "I don't want to calm down!" * Try to get the person to sit down with you. If you can, pull out a notebook and pencil and write some notes. This can have a calming effect.

* If you feel uncomfortable, or think you are dealing with someone drunk, on drugs or unstable, make an excuse, walk away to phone for help, and then keep the person in view until help arrives.

* No one should be able to come into school without being checked at reception. If this system ever lets you down, ask for a review.

Next week: the abandoned child

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now