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In this informal environment, children who stammer may worry more than in the classroom about being teased or bullied by other pupils, or misunderstood by supervising staff. When other children easily chatter these children may hang back.

Sometimes frustration about the inability to speak like the others can cause them to hide their anxiety by being silly or disruptive. Occasionally a child may choose to just avoid talking and keep away from the other children and staff.

At playtime, staff should intervene directly if there appears to be an incident of bullying, as shown in the video, and ensure it is stopped. If the child is frequently a subject of this kind of attention from other children then the class teacher must be informed as well so that s/he can investigate further. (See also Support for learning: Bullying on this resource)

When a younger child needs the toilet he should be allowed to go, even if not able to speak clearly; gestures or request cards should be accepted, as an embarrassing accident could really damage self-esteem.


  • Monitor playground behaviour to check that all pupils are joining in co-operatively, or happily playing individually.
  • Keep an eye out for teasing and bullying and act promptly.
  • Pass on any serious concerns to the class teacher.

It is important that supervising staff monitor behaviour and intervene when a concern arises. Lucy, who stammers, appears to be 'left out' by the other children.