My pre-service teacher is consistently leaving the school or unavailable at recess/lunch time, what should I do?

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Whilst students are required to have either a recess of a lunch break they are bound by the same expectations as school staff. As a general rule of thumb we suggest that PSTs arrive back at school at least 10 minutes before the bell is due to go. They should also check in with you before they leave the school to make sure they don’t have any yard duty, lunch club or other things to do at lunch time. It is essential that PSTs sign out when they leave the school so the office should have a record of when they are not on the school grounds. PSTs should not be leaving the school grounds at EVERY recess and lunch as this would be considered unprofessional in any school setting – your PST may not understand this.



  • If your PST is disappearing at recess and lunchtime make a time as soon as possible to discuss the issue. You might like to say something along the lines of “I noticed that you have been leaving the school grounds a lot during recess and lunchtime so I thought I should just go over what we at (insert Primary School) considerable acceptable in relation to this…”
  • If your PST continues to leave the school excessively please make a note of it in their Mid-Placement Review form (link form) and re-address the issue with them
  • If they still do not change their behaviour please contact complete an Expression of Concern form (link form) and contact RMIT  so that a representative can come out to the school and talk to the pre-service teacher
  • Depending on other elements of the PSTs professional practice you might also consider marking them as unsatisfactory on Standard 7 of the RMIT Professional Experience Report form.

Additional Resources:


  • You might like to ask you pre-service teacher to fill in the following Y diagram (link form) ‘What does an effective pre-service teacher look like, feel like and sound like?’ Look over their thinking and together discuss what each of these things are like in your school. You will also find a teacher copy of a completed Y diagram included to support your thinking.
  • Ask your student to set a personal learning goal to help them improve in this area. You might like to use the following goal setting template (link form) to support your PST’s reflection.



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