Education Q&A – March 2024

CPI’s behaviour experts share their tips on managing aggressive behaviour in school

1 March 2024

How do I manage CYP when they are being physically aggressive towards one another? (Anonymous)

Aggressive behaviour in schools

This seems to be coming more of a regular question asked to our trainers. Certainly, since COVID we have found that school staff are reporting that they are seeing an increase in aggression from young people towards each other but also towards staff. Of course, safety trumps all advice, and it is essential that your duty of care to all your leaners as well as yourself is paramount.

Behaviour influences behaviour

Here are some simple tips to help frame how you manage your own behaviour responses in situations that feel concerning.

  • Remain calm and composed so that you are visibly communicating self-control. Seeing a staff member who is notably anxious and/or losing control of their emotions is a sure way to escalate a situation.
  • Ensure you maintain assertive language keeping your script short, simple and directive. Some examples are below.

I need you to…

I know that you will…

Thank you for…

I've noticed....

When “this” … then “that”.

  • When people are in crisis, they require stability around them to support regaining control. They may not be thinking rationally and may be unable to self-regulate thoughts/emotions/behaviours. This is where you may need to co-regulate to provide the space for a young person to regain their own self-regulation.

Managing extreme behaviour

The 5 principles of CPI behaviour management are aimed at improving the culture of the school, and although will not remove extreme behaviours immediately they can reduce the likelihood when implemented well over time. Culture change is a commitment and takes time and investment to make successful. As an immediate need solution, however, look at CPI Breaking Up Fights™: Intervention Skills training (coming soon) as a short to medium term option for training staff to manage more extreme behaviours and to establish safe response to difficult situations.

Once you submit your question it will be passed on to one of our in-house experts for them to answer. Check this blog page the subsequent month or keep an eye out for the next installment of CPI’s monthly newsletter to see your answer

For more information our Classroom Culture train the trainer programme, our Breaking Up Fights™ training, our Hearts & Minds INSET, or how your school can get a Behaviour Health Check, go to our Education programme page and fill in the consultation form.