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Students touching teachers?|

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by royalstu11, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. royalstu11

    royalstu11 New commenter

    I am increasingly worried about the habit of some of our students of patting teachers on the back as they walk past them. This applies only to one department where the student-teacher relationship is more 'friendly and informal' than the rest of the school.
    Does anyone know of any legislation or law regarding this? There is plenty regarding teachers making physical contact with students, but I cannot find anything vice versa.
    We are a Boys' secondary school.
  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    What you want is for them not to do it, isn't it? Calling it 'assault' (for I feel that's the only law you could call into the equation here) is not really the way to go with this.
    It requires action from SLT - from the head preferably - to hold assemblies explaining to pupils that they mustn't do it and why and then it needs to be reinforced via (for example) PHSE lessons in which the rights of individuals (teachers AND pupils) not to be touched by others are explored and discussed.
    That's what I think.
  3. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Are the teachers who are being touched objecting? Or are you an "outside" spectator who feels it is inappropriate?

  4. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

    In all the Safeguarding training I've attended, it has been made clear that simply looking the other way because one is not directly involved is not an option.
    So if this is inappropriate touching, then anyone observing it has the duty to report it as such...
  5. What has the world come to when we are discussing "patting on the back" and "safeguarding" in the same discussion?

  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I was thinking that. I know this is a secondary school, but goodness me!

    A pat on the back for a teacher who doesn't mind is surely to goodness not a safeguarding issue at all. (And if they do mind then it is a discipline issue and should be reported by that teacher to the child's HOY/Form teacher/whatever.)

    Unless of course there is a nasty vindictive person who wants to destroy a colleague and so will twist this around to do so.
  7. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

    OP wrote:
    "I am increasingly worried about the habit of some of our students of
    patting teachers on the back as they walk past them. This applies only
    to one department where the student-teacher relationship is more
    'friendly and informal' than the rest of the schoo

    To me that sounds more than an occasional pat on the back...(Something that ahs happened to meless than half-a-dozen times in 30 years...
  8. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    ONE department which is already pretty informal. Doesn't sound like a problem to me. Presumably, from the way the post is phrased, it isn't the OP's department and so it is up to the department concerned to put a stop to it if it is a problem.
  9. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

    Asleep in your last CP training session, I see...
  10. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Nopes. But it isn't a safeguarding issue. A pupil patting a teacher on the back is hardly an example of abuse/assault either way.
  11. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Hang on.
    CP = Child protection, doesn't it?
    Are these teachers actually not adults but children who are in need of protection from the patting pupils?
    Or is receiving a friendly pat on the back in passing in a corridor a new form of passive grooming of the patters by the pattees?
    Have the adults pattees objected that their dignity at work is being breached? Are the patters at risk of some terrible form of abuse by being forced to pat these backs?
    Don't think so.
    Best wishes
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    The next seminar Win That Teaching Job is Saturday 24th March. www.tesweekendworkshop95.eventbrite.com
    For the full TES Weekend Workshop programme please visit www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars or contact advice@tes.co.uk
  12. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    I wanted a clearer picture of the situation, nothing more.
  13. gjeh67

    gjeh67 New commenter

    Have you reported this to your CP coordinator? You have felt moved to look for legislation which suggests you have a significant concern that this contact is inappropriate. If you have such a concern your statutory duty is to report it immediately. From the contents of your posts it seems you have not done this. I suggest you remedy this as soon as you can perhaps by having a chat with the CPC as to whether an official concern is merited. Should allegations (especially if the contact was found to be inappropriate/illegal) be made in the future and you did not register your concerns officially your posts on here might indicate some complicity or failure to discharge your proper proffesional duties. What matters is <u>your</u> opinion not the posts of others, including me. The investigation into whether or not there is a problem will not be yours to conduct.
    However, in my opinion, what you describe does not seem to constitute a child protection matter but would, again in my opinion, be a breakdown in the school discipline/behaviour management policy. It seems to me that the type of informal conduct you describe is not the right way for teachers and pupils to interact. It's not putting anyone at risk but does pose a risk of undermining good order in the school.
    As a counter point to my last paragraph. It may be that these relationships actually contribute to good behaviour and better teacher/pupil relationships. In which case it will be for your HT to decide if they are happy with this type of interaction. In my experience most would not be but horses for courses...
    I am not representing my post here as a statement of law but having witnessed how an allegation can grow arms, legs and everything else very quickly and pull in people who thought they had no involvement I would recommend following your own school's policies on these matters as closely as possible.

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