Talk

Advanced search

How do you deal with incidents when you don't know which child is telling the truth?

(8 Posts)
Coffeeandteach Wed 09-Sep-20 18:21:24

Children are in year 4. Child A is saying child B has said some awful things to her today. Child B says he has not said anything of the sort. No witnesses.

What was apparently said is really awful and there would be severe consequences if it was found out to be true. But I don't know how to get to the bottom of it and because of the severity of what was said, I really need to🤷🏻‍♀️

Thanks in advance.

OP’s posts: |
Sunflowertall Wed 09-Sep-20 19:51:02

Child B has a reason to lie (to save getting in to trouble). Does child A have a reason to lie?

From that I would decide whether to try and get a confession from child B and this often takes this form:

I know that you did it. The biggest issue and the thing that you will be in most trouble for is lying about it. If you are honest and own up to doing it xyz will happen, you'll have to apologise, so and so will be cross for a while but then it will be over and life will move on. I'm going to give you this pencil and paper and I want you to write down exactly what happened.

I'm primary so not sure how effective this would be in secondary but it's quite effective up to 11 years old.

Tddnamechanger Wed 09-Sep-20 19:52:39

Do you have a logging system for behaviour?

There is not much that you can do apart from log it. You will soon work the children out. Depending on the severity, you might want to bring or to SLT attention.

Can you speak to their previous class teacher?

PenOrPencil Wed 09-Sep-20 20:12:51

Invent a witness / say that CCTV recorded the incident and see if your suspect will crack under pressure.

JanetandJohn500 Wed 09-Sep-20 20:53:00

There isn't the same threshold as in a police investigation (although sometimes it feels like you have to be a DCI to solve some incidents 😂)
It is one the balance of probabilities' and not 'beyond reasonable doubt'.
Knowing that may help you to see what is most likely to have happened and move from that point. It's really important that parents understand that too- you're not the police, you don't have the time to carry out a full investigation and dedicate yourself to it for several weeks!

JuiceyBetty Wed 09-Sep-20 21:14:31

PenOrPencil

Invent a witness / say that CCTV recorded the incident and see if your suspect will crack under pressure.

grin absolutely don't do this!

You can normally tell when one is suspicious. It's a lot easier for me in a SEN school as ASD students crack under pressure quite easily!

If not, just log it with SLT and move on. It's all you can do.

longsigh Wed 09-Sep-20 21:25:35

I usually say so something along the lines of So I'll tell Bs mum and the headteacher (etc) what B has said and you are quite happy to let me say that? Usually they crack and tell the truth. I also like the we have a witness approach... 😉

BackforGood Thu 10-Sep-20 00:11:44

Sometimes sitting down with both of them, and having a discussion about what either of them think the words mean, and so forth works well.
At Primary level, most of the worst things that are said, aren't understodd at all by the children - they are just repeating what they have heard others saying (often, but not always parents) outside of school.
In trying to get them to explain the terms and whatever, a) that might be helpful even if you don't crack who said what, in preventing further incidents, and b) in talking about it, it will become clear as part of that conversation who has made what up and who has no idea about the words that were used.
Of course, this takes time a class teacher rarely has, but if you are a pastoral Lead / SMT member who can make time whilst the teacher gets on with teaching the class.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in