As a teacher, you are naturally in a supportive role to many of your students. For many, you may be the most positive role model in their lives. This may make your students want to confide issues or secrets to you outside of class.
This is a danger area for teachers, as sensitive information introduces a whole host of potential problems for them. Openly displaying the secret may shatter that student and do irreparable harm to your working relationship. However, keeping student secrets is also dangerous and come severely come back to bite you.
Luckily, the QCT has shared the advice of Rachel Drew, a Partner at law firm Holding Redlich. In this video, she speaks to the QCT about the risks of engaging with students and how to deal with student disclosures.
- Always consult your school’s policy. They almost always have a detailed procedure on how to deal with these problems.
- Make sure you are aware of these processes before you even enter the classroom at that school.
- Reach out to chaplains or guidance counsellors, and work out your school’s system of support.
- Failure to report harm or sexual abuse can actually result in legal action taken against you. Report anything serious immediately and in writing.
- A level of pastoral care is always required, but guidance about serious matters is not a requirement of the teaching profession. Always reach out to your networks.