Lying teenagers need support

5th March 2004 at 00:00
As Raj Persaud points out (TES, February 13) it would be useful for teachers to know without doubt which student is lying and when.

However, teenage years are a time when children lie. It is part of growing up, separating from others and finding one's identity. In city schools in Britain, peer pressure is intense. Bullying, feuds, gang loyalty, put-downs, social pressures from peers as well as teachers can make schools intensely uncomfortable.

Mark Haddon describes a "pressurised, product-driven culture that this Government has tried to force on to education". Pupils reflect these pressures. Of course teenagers can be difficult.

That is why emotional and psychological support are so important. There are a variety of interventions which can encourage feelings of trust and good relationships for teachers, pupils and parents. For instance, supportive INSET can offer a space where teachers can begin to feel less scrutinised, less judged, more included as a team - and able to try out ways of working with conflict resolution in the classroom so as not to exclude.

Mediation with feuding kids, one-to-one therapy, drama groups, whole-class circles, circle groups with excluded kids - all these can improve relationships.

Lauraine Leigh

State registered arts therapist

Lauraine Leigh Consultancy

4 Clifton Road

Newbury, Berkshire

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today