Date
19 January 2020

Managing an incident

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Respond safely to challenging situations’

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Assess first

Assess first

Before you respond or take action, assess the situation.
  • Stay calm, give direction, and give the child the chance to move out of the situation or away from other children, with dignity. 
  • Support the child to calm themselves.
  • Seek assistance from another staff member, if you think it will help rather than aggravate the child more.

Note, if the student has a safety or behaviour plan already in place, follow that process.

Source: Positive Behaviour for Learning (opens in a new tab/window)

Respond/ defuse

Respond/ defuse

Calmly tell the child or young person what you want them to do, giving them a choice and allowing them to make that choice.

Debrief with compassion

Debrief with compassion

Create a space for listening.

Once a child is calm:

  • give them an opportunity to say what happened and why
  • listen in a non-threatening and non-judgemental way
  • avoid lecturing.

Plan and prevent

Plan and prevent

Problem-solve with other staff, the child, and their parents and whānau, if appropriate.

Work as a team.

  1. What is the purpose of the behaviour, for example, to avoid or obtain something?
  2. What triggers it?
  3. What is the child getting from the behaviour? Can you replace the need?
  4. What do you want the child to be doing instead?
  5. Do you need to teach them new skills or positively reinforce what they already know?
  6. What changes can you make in the whole school or whole centre and at home to support this change?
  7. Put in place a safety/behaviour plan to prevent the behaviour from recurring and to ensure a consistent response if it does.

Reflective questions

Reflective questions

Adapt for your own context.
  • Where in your learning environment could a student move to, to calm themselves?
  • Who will you contact when an incident happens?
  • What environments in your school are safe, conducive spaces to have debriefing conversations?

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

Behaviour support tools

Publisher: Positive Behaviour for Learning

Visit website

File

Positive Behaviour for Learning information sheet: Process for responding to an incident

Publisher: Positive Behaviour for Learning

Download PDF

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Respond safely to challenging situations”:

Return to the guide “Behaviour and learning”

Guide to Index of the guide: Behaviour and learning

Strategies for action:

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