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Warning about how some schools deal with chair-swingers

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by tgom, May 20, 2019.

  1. tgom

    tgom New commenter

    There is another post (from a few years ago) on here that asks about how to deal with tipping on chairs. Some of the respondents suggested that one way to deal with it is to remove the chair for a period of time. I strongly suggest that if anyone is considering this course of action, they check with their Senior Management first. I implemented this strategy in a class I was covering and I was told that I'd gone against the school's Code of Conduct by not treating the pupils with dignity. Consequently, I ended up facing a formal disciplinary hearing where I was given a First Written Warning. I don't want anyone else to go through the same thing.

    According to the CEO, simply giving warnings and telling the pupils about the dangers of swinging on chairs is enough to satisfy Health and Safety legislation. However, I am not too sure about that.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    Wow, that's a serious response. I'm sorry to hear that this was your experience. What has your HoD said about the matter? Is this typical of your school for things to be dealt with quite formally?

    Perhaps good for us all to remember to talk through our plans with another member of staff before we implement them to protect ourselves against potential reactions.
  3. tgom

    tgom New commenter

    Hi Sarah

    Yes it was a serious way to deal with the incident. However, after speaking to other colleagues (admittedly afterwards) they don't see what I did was wrong and would have advised me to do what I did.
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I agree that the way they dealt with you was far too harsh; they could have simply told you not to use that method and then give you an alternative method.

    Your school would not be too happy to have a student tip over in a chair and break their head open causing serious life changing injuries.

    Thanks for posting this as it is a good reminder for people.
  5. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    I just make them stand. Not just for that, but for a range of misdemeanors. Its fine in my school
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. 3monkey

    3monkey New commenter

    Jesus. School leaders have gone mad for their response. As for "remember to talk through our plans with another member of staff", what nonsense. Classrooms are dynamic beasts with 30 odd monsters constantly dreaming up new ways to press buttons. To take away the teacher's right to deal with silly behaviour in a proportionate way without having them refer to and review policy documents each time, consult with colleagues, the Head of Department and SLT and then possibly put out a consultation paper for parents is taking away the ability to do their job properly, deal with issues immediately and castrating their professionalism.
    agathamorse, Morgelyn and pepper5 like this.
  7. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    I make them stand for a short while and I don't think there's anything wrong with it. It's not about humiliating them. I just hate blood. I explain to them that it is not a punishment but their safety is my first priority so if they can't sit safely on a chair, they won't sit on one. I don't keep them standing long. I've also moved their seats occasionally to make it harder for them to swing.
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    I tell them about the girl in my class when I was 10 who was swinging on her chair when she fell and injured herself so badly she was taken to hospital by ambulance. She was paralysed from the waist down and when she eventually came back to school, she was in a wheelchair.
    agathamorse likes this.
  9. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    That is perhaps the best way to tell a class about swinging on chairs - it is graphic but gets right to the point and that is usually the best way.

    I have told those swinging in chairs if they don't stop they will have to stand for five minutes or whatever - not as punishment but as Piscean1 says it is all about safety; but the young are not always thinking about safety and never think an accident will happen to them.

    I would rather get into trouble for telling a student to stand for five minutes than let them wind up paralysed.
    agathamorse likes this.

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