DT & Engineering Blog: Engaging reluctant students


Tips on how to deal with a pupil who is reluctant to take instruction, eg move seat or return to work after they have received a warning:


  • consider the reasons for the refusal/reluctance in the context of previous encounters with the pupil

  • use the language of choice and consequence


  • repeat the instruction, using an ‘I’ statement, finishing with “thanks” and give take-up time

  • follow the school’s procedure in a measured, firm, fair and consistent way (the consequence table is an example only. Your school might have a different consequence table or pyramid)


  • keep words to a minimum to avoid coming across as nagging

  • stay out of their personal space and ensure that your body language conveys calmness




  • try hard not to ask ‘why’ questions – these can push the pupil into fight or flight mode.