When it goes wrong! Removal from the classroom

Paul Raynor

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Regardless of how professional you have reacted up until now, certain situations will escalate from time to time. Dont look at this as a failure on your part, it is another opportunity to be calm and professional; you can turn this around!


Sometimes it just goes wrong!

If all goes wrong, it does not necessarily mean you have failed in any. There are situations when a student will escalate their poor behaviour due to circumstances outside of your control! That said, when it does go wrong the whole class has eyes on you and they are essentially testing how you deal with the situation.

Deal with it you must! To do this you must have knowledge of the school sytems and policy for, obtaining assistance to your classroom, and the correct process for having a student removed.

Gone are the days of shouting at a student and sending them outside. Remember that word Safeguarding. If you have dealt with the classroom situation calmly and professionally then the student will have two ways to escalate the situation with you personally:

1. They remain seated but start shouting at you

  • Do NOT go over to them (you will have moved away after your warning to them) keep your distance, raise your hand in order to bring the whole class to silence and focus on you. If the student continues shouting at you, calmly explain your expectations to everybody in the class when your hand is raised.
  • Explain if this is not followed you will seek assistance as per your school sytem. If the student's poor behaviour continues, then you must do as you said - get the assistance.
  • Whilst waiting for the assistance do not attempt to have further dialogue with the student, you will put yourself in a position where the student will attempt to get you involved in an argument. By keeping your distance you have kept yourself away from risk of injury.

2. They get out of their seat and move towards you, shouting and threatening

  • Again all eyes are on you! In these circumstances you have no choice but to have the student removed. It is not the time to deal with the situation in full. Hence you must know the school system. I know this situation can be very difficult as you may feel threatened and scared. This is the most important time of all to stay calm and professional.
  • At this point, it is not the time to get drawn into a face to face argument with a student. Remember, keep your distance as your personal space is just that, your space. Arrange for the removal and explain to the student what you have done.
  • Politely tell them you will have a discussion with them at a later time but not now! Most student’s will await removal, some will not. They are up, banging and clattering and then they may decide to flee.
  • You must still remember your duties under safeguarding and report that they have left your lesson and they are in an agitated state of mind. The student has been removed or stormed out, is that the end of the matter? Most certainly not!
  • Right now your priority is to continue with your lesson. Later, and preferably before your next lesson with the student, you need to start a process of re-building your professional relationship.
  • If the school supports staff and students through a system of restorative meetings I urge you to go down this line. The meetings mediated in the correct manor can, and should be very positive for all concerned.
  • Allow the student to voice their opinions so that it is a two-way process. If no formal restorative procedures are in place you need to arrange a meeting. Ask another member of staff to assist. This could be a year leader, head of house or a member of staff that has a good working relationship with the student.


Remember, focus the discussion on the event linking to your charter and school expectations and do NOT focus on the student.

We have discussed in a previous post some of the reasons why a student may misbehave. A main reason is to cover the fact they can not do the work.

Having removed a student, it is important to realise that they are now behind in class. You must discuss with the student how you will help them to catch up. You may feel the need to involve parents in this. Put some time and effort into ensuring removed students are up to speed and over time, this will create a win win situation for both parties involved. 


About our Community Expert


Paul Raynor

Community Expert

Community expert and former Detective Inspector, Paul Raynor has direct experience in teaching educators how to better manage behaviour within secondary education.

Paul has experience with safeguarding, and has supported schools with writing behaviour policies in conjunction with senior leaders. He is an expert in his field.

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