Staying classroom safe

How to stay classroom safe

Did you know that staying classroom safe is the duty of teaching staff in any situation? Importantly, you need to ensure you embrace this whilst working as a supply teacher for First For Education.

Firstly, here are some key points to assist you in staying classroom safe.

  • Always ensure your mobile phone is switched off or left in a locker on silent.
  • Whenever you start a new school, get to know the school’s behaviour policy. Furthermore, if you see an incident develop, make sure you know where to get help and act without delay.
  • Importantly, you should not be left alone with a pupil in a classroom. However, where this situation is unavoidable, keep doors open.
  • You should avoid any action or tone of voice that may be perceived as aggressive or adverse.
  • For your own protection, stay at least an arm’s length away from the pupil when addressing behaviour.

Advice on physical contact with pupils

You are probably already aware that any physical contact with pupils in school is a very sensitive subject. As a member of supply staff, you must adhere to national/school policy and regulations. Given you will be less familiar to pupils, you MAY be more open to people misinterpreting your actions. As a consequence, it can increase the risk of pupils making unfounded allegations. Therefore, you should be mindful of this potential and follow the guidance outlined. However, you should follow the general rule of avoiding pupil contact and  being alone with a pupil. This way your actions can never be misconstrued. On the other hand, there may be situations where you cannot avoid physical contact and physical contact is necessary.

Situations Where Physical Contact May be Necessary

In any school day, you may be involved in an event where having some physical contact with a pupil has been necessary. For example, you may have had to intervene for safety or medical reasons like when administering first aid. In addition, younger children and SEND pupils may need you to provide physical assistance. Equally when young people are in distress it may be right to offer comfort. In these situations, it is your judgement call that has to be made at the time. However, you must be aware that for some pupils, physical contact may be unwelcome. For example, due to cultural or personal reasons. Therefore, you must be sensitive to such situations. You should also ensure that you do not touch or hold a pupil in a way that may be considered indecent.

Simple Rules

It is important you get to know the school behaviour management policy as soon as possible. Also you should find out who to contact for assistance should an event occur. In addition, you could have a list of strategies you could use to diffuse potential conflict. In the event of an incident, you should get assistance as soon as possible. You should report all incidents/injuries including physical/inadvertent physical contact to the school. Also remember to let us know too immediately. Whilst it is fresh in your memory, write a detailed report of the incident. Don’t forget to note down names of witnesses.

Once you register with us, you will have been asked to agree to our standards. You will see that This includes our policy on physical contact and keeping yourself safe in schools. A copy of all policies can be found on our website in our policy library.

If you want to learn more you can view “Working together to safeguard children” by clicking here