Handling aggressive students

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Handling aggressive students is occasionaly something all student-facing staff have to deal with. This can be a very unpleasant experience, and these tips can help you to deal with this type of situation:

Stay calm and try to diffuse the situation. If the student remains aggressive or you feel they might become violent, and you are in a teaching session with other students, discretely ask for someone to go and get help from the house staff.

If you are in your office alone with the student, politely ask the student to leave and say that you will contact them to arrange another appointment. If the student refuses to leave, politely and calmly excuse yourself and go to get help from the house staff. Alternatively phone the emergency number 5555 and give your room number and ask for assistance.

Don’t engage in a ‘shouting match’, ask the student to come back later that day or on another day.

Report the situation to your Head of Department and discuss and agree the future action to be taken.

As soon as possible after the incident talk to a colleague or mentor to debrief the situation – it is important to get support in these situations.

More details of ‘Dealing with Difficult and Disruptive Situations’ are given in the Resource Pack produced by the Counselling and Advisory Service.

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