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To think that teachers need more training for coping with violent/ SEN children

(242 Posts)
ReallyTired Mon 08-Sep-14 13:24:55

Clearly a distress child should not have been locked in a room. However I can see how it could have happened. I feel that better training could have helped these teachers deal with a diffciult situation better.

For example training teachers in how to restrain a child safely, descalation techniques and improving communication skills would help. A school always has the option of calling the police for an out of control child.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Mon 08-Sep-14 13:32:41

I agree, teachers need masses more training to help children with SENs access the curriculum and make the most of their potential. They are currently failing many, many children because they simply don't have the specialised skills they need.

Teachers also need more training and support to help them deal with violence and conflict in the classroom.

However violence and sen aren't synonymous. And if a child with SEN is lashing out with violence, then it's pretty much guaranteed that they are being failed. See point 1 above.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Mon 08-Sep-14 13:35:22

And btw there is nothing to suggest that the child in that story has SEN. SENCOs also usually have general teaching duties, except in very large schools.

And if a SENCO can't teach a child with SEN, again, see point 1.

Icimoi Mon 08-Sep-14 13:35:30

Certainly teachers should get much more training on dealing with SEN, both on initial teacher training and subsequently. Given the government's emphasis on keeping children with SEN in the mainstream, it's absolutely essential.

ReallyTired Mon 08-Sep-14 13:46:57

Emotional and behavioural difficulties is certainly classified as an SEN. I put a "/" between SEN and violence as a short hand for "or".

Children don't normally act like that for no reason. I feel its justified to ask if such a child does have unmet special needs or pychological problems.

We don't know the circumstances of what led up to the incident or indeed anything about the child. All we know is that it did not end well with the child being locked up.

Surely there is no reason why a teacher can have training in both SEN and managing violent children. Knowing how to cope with a violent NT child could save the life of an SEN child.

OTheHugeManatee Mon 08-Sep-14 16:21:47

I'm a bit shock at everyone just saying 'oh the teacher needs more training'.

Teachers aren't riot police. Most of them sign up to teach, not to do something which requires special training in how to restrain violent children. Surely if a child is violent - whether because of learning difficulties or psychological problems or whatever - that child should not be in mainstream school?

WorraLiberty Mon 08-Sep-14 16:38:48

Surely if a child is violent - whether because of learning difficulties or psychological problems or whatever - that child should not be in mainstream school?

The thing is, any child could turn violent for any reason.

Therefore, teachers do need to be trained to deal with it if it happens.

After the outburst, I'm sure it would be looked at whether the child should be in mainstream or not.

LindyHemming Mon 08-Sep-14 16:44:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

should Mon 08-Sep-14 16:46:30

I'm an SEN teacher and I've had no training in this.

In fact I've had no SEN training either but that's a different story....

fromparistoberlin73 Mon 08-Sep-14 16:48:11

"The thing is, any child could turn violent for any reason."

really?? I feel for that teacher she was obviously terrified. I am afraid I am with Othehuge-

also SEN does not equate to violence [shocked]

Beetlemilk Mon 08-Sep-14 16:48:18

Which school is this? Was this the child with ASD that was locked in the broom cupboard and left there for hours?

WooWooOwl Mon 08-Sep-14 16:50:41

I completely agree that teachers, and their support staff, need more training, but on it's own, training isn't going to prevent things like this from ever happening.

Training can only give so much, real life experience with violent children is what is needed if a situation where adults have valid reason to be scared are going to be dealt with well. It would be impossible to cover every possibility on a course, children and their situations are too individual.

I doubt a situation like this came from nowhere, maybe what was needed was better support for everyone concerned long before it got to this point.

whois Mon 08-Sep-14 16:54:37

Teachers aren't riot police. Most of them sign up to teach, not to do something which requires special training in how to restrain violent children


Teachers in a mainstream school shouldn't need training on how to deal with violent children. Children who might need restraining need to be in special school which can meet their needs and support them properly.

Sticking a kid with additional needs next to a TA at the back of a classroom with 30 other kids is not good for the child.

Gatehouse77 Mon 08-Sep-14 16:57:11

Either teachers and support staff need more training or another tier of type of school to deal with it.

Having worked with a child with ASD and in a primary school with other children, the biggest problem was children who are unstatemented and don't have 1:1 support to remove them from a situation to ensure both their own safety and that of the other children/staff.

Add in the sense of injustice to the other children when a child who has kicked off is then seen to be 'rewarded' with computer time.
Frustrating as a parent when a proportion of the children's lesson time has been taken up dealing with such an outburst, or the consequences of what might have happened at lunchtime.

The child I worked with could easily have turned violent but we were able to 'catch' it in time because I knew him and could read his mood. In a bigger school/class situation it would be much harder for a class teacher to do this given all the other tasks they have to complete.

And, to return to the lunchtime reference, dinner ladies would also need such training as the playground can be a hotbed for things going wrong for SEN children.

hollie84 Mon 08-Sep-14 16:59:54

Teachers shouldn't have to deal with violent children at all.

Hurr1cane Mon 08-Sep-14 17:02:02

Yup I'm a teacher. Teachers need more training.

I'm the teacher with the child with special needs who works in a mainstream school.

I'm the one who rolled around the toilet floors getting covered in piss trying to stop a child hurting himself in a meltdown while the headteacher and his mum watched in shock.

I did that because no one had team teach training, including me, but I knew what to do due to unofficial training and was happy to lose my job or get hurt myself to stop a small child with special needs being seriously hurt.

I trained in special needs, that means we had one hour a week in each of the different disabilities. Not enough really is it?

And yes, if you are a teacher, you put yourself at risk for those kids and that's what job you do.

horsecalledseptember Mon 08-Sep-14 17:05:35

There are numerous problems and concerns I have with this matter, and one of the problems is that not only are teachers unclear on what constitutes reasonable restraint but so are children. I once worked in a particularly poorly planned school in terms of the layout whereby you could hardly help nudging or brushing against students in the classroom and corridor and this led to shouts of 'Ugh, don't touch me you paedo hmm' which of course is extremely rude but certainly in that school, the view was that touching a child even in terms of an affectionate pat or accidental nudge was forbidden.

Children need to know adults can touch them. They need to know that if their behaviour is dangerous they can be restrained. Separating fighting students is the most obvious example but also standing in front of a door or being taken - forced to a safe place.

The issue is you are one on your own when teaching and while it's easy to say get support, this would have entailed leaving other students with a child with a compass! I bet this teacher panicked and she's lost her job; I wonder what's happened to the boy?

ouryve Mon 08-Sep-14 17:08:47

Staff at the local primary, which DS1 used to attend and DS2 still attends (both have SN) have had Team Teach training (mostly on account of working with DS1, but he's not the only child it's needed for). On the face of it, the training is in safe restraint techniques, but the main focus is in de-escalation - stopping the situation from getting to that point, in the first place.

If that's the story I'm thinking of, the room was little more than a cupboard with a cushion on the floor. And an inward opening door, so even though it was possibly their misguided idea of a "safe space" it was highly unsuitable as one. What if a child had passed out behind the door, for example?

Gatehouse, if the school felt they needed to provide more support for those children, they should have done their best to make sure it happened, instead of crossing their fingers and hoping the teacher would be able to cope, alone.

Hurr1cane Mon 08-Sep-14 17:11:10

Also, children who get to the point that they need restraining aren't being supported properly. They aren't.

My DS was very aggressive in mainstream. He wasn't having his needs met because they wouldn't listen to me or any of the other professionals that went in.

1 week in a school that listened and he was never ever aggressive again. Ever.

Bulbasaur Mon 08-Sep-14 17:13:49

Unfortunately, there is no safe way to restrain a flailing human. Seizure training should be a testament to that (you don't restrain, you only keep them from bumping into objects). When a child is throwing a tantrum like that, adrenaline is being released and they will not feel it if they twist too hard and pull their arm out of socket.

The teacher was in a lose-lose. Had she restrained him, she'd be liable for injury. Locking him in a room is cruel, apparently.

Really they do need to be separated until they calm down for everyone's safety. But they need to have a special calming room for them not just locking him in a room.

I guess my question is, how long was he locked in the room for? I think keeping him there until police arrive, would be a good idea. They're trained to deal with violent people and would be the best solution for the safety of everyone involved.

PiperIsOrange Mon 08-Sep-14 17:13:53

The LEA needs to pull their fingers out.

My ds is asd and it's now well managed in school thanks to the council finally awarding a statement and finally has the support he deserves.

I feel with the right support that most children are able to stay mainstream leaving the schools that cater specifically for exemptible additional needs and disability for those who truly need it.

ouryve Mon 08-Sep-14 17:14:08

And, while I disagree with whois' assertion that children with SN should all be in a special school, DS1 is no longer violent at school now that he is in a quiet specialist school. He couldn't cope with the sensory demands of mainstream and was in a constant state of high alert.

horsecalledseptember Mon 08-Sep-14 17:16:54

Hurr1cane I wouldn't dream of telling you your experience isn't correct but it simply doesn't translate for all students.

I have taught students who have become violent - not necessarily with me but with one another and I've been caught in the crossfire - because of problems pertaining to things that had nothing to do with school. I've also had them become aggressive - and aggression isn't just physical, it is horrific being verbally abused too - because of basic classroom rules not being followed and the behaviour system being followed.

You end up in a 'damned if you do' position very quickly, where it's your fault if the student behaves badly but not drawing attention to this makes matters worse - I've only been in a school like this once and I left after two terms.

Children are more than their labels and I don't want to slap labels on what are normal, if extreme, human reactions - violence is not acceptable, to teachers or to other students, end of.

Hurr1cane Mon 08-Sep-14 17:17:26

The thing is though. Restraining someone, old or young, who is at breaking point, doesn't help anyone. I was once working at a school free of charge to help with a child with SN. While with me he did not have one violent outburst, because when he started getting fractious we did something to calm him, and talked about what he could do to calm himself.

It's simple enough with the correct training.

I'm thinking about going back to my teacher training college to talk to the student teachers about special needs and aggression. does anyone think that would be something they'd welcome? As a former student with a child with profound disabilities?

Fav Mon 08-Sep-14 17:17:49

Agree with Hurr1cane.
Ds doesn't get violent at school, but holds it all in and explodes at home.
If his teacher listened and acted on what she was being told, and avoided ds's triggers rather than making him face them over and over again, he would never have got to that point.

With more appropriate training and trying to understand the child, I bet violent meltdowns wouldn't happen as much.

I agree it must be frightening for the teacher, but something will have triggered the child, and it must surely be part of their job to find out what it is.

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