Pupils on the run: a 10-step guide

16th January 2015 at 00:00

Sorry, Tom Starkey. As a retired pupil referral unit head, I can’t read your behaviour advice (“Shutting the door before the student has bolted”, Professional, 8 January) and just do my usual Victor Meldrew grunt. I have to reply:

1. I agree that consistent behaviour management is vital.

2. Training in de-escalation is also vital.

3. Never step in the way of a child trying to leave the class – they are in flight mode. I taught numerous young people who were excluded for hitting a teacher in this situation.

4. Make it clear that you will follow up their behaviour with senior leaders and their parents. It doesn’t matter if they don’t hear: the other 29 children will.

5. If they come back quickly, quietly welcome and praise but carry on teaching and discuss at the end of the lesson.

6. Never run after the child. If they are very young instruct a teaching assistant or other member of staff to follow at a safe distance and try to persuade them back.

7. Instruct the office to ring parents immediately.

8. If the incident lasts a long time and/or the child leaves the site, always involve parents and the headteacher in the return to class and calmly discuss the issues.

9. No further punishments should be necessary.

10. Have a clear whole-school policy.

Becky Durston

Barnston, Essex

Short and tweet

Wonderful start to the [International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement] with musical performance from St Paul’s Primary, Whiteinch. Great singing. Lovely sentiments! #ICSEI2016


#ICSEI2016 Just visited Smithycroft Secondary, Glasgow. Prison officers as pupil mentors and 95% positive destinations – very impressive.


#ICSEI2016 Merrylee Primary pupils demonstrate robotic drawing pencils.


My question of the day at #ICSEI2016 Glasgow: How can we increase understanding and trust between policymakers, researchers and practitioners?


Time for a very Scottish tea break at our conference. @TunnockOfficial


Two Glasgow heidies (principals) attending #ICSEI2016: “Best CPD we’ve had for a long time.” And that was only Day 1! I’d call that a result.



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