April 15, 2012

Use of Reasonable Force – Updated DfE advice for head teachers, staff and governing bodies

The Department for Education (DfE) has updated it's advice for head teachers, school staff and governing bodies on the use of reasonable force. The updated advice replaces the previous publication: The use of force to control and restrain pupils – Guidance for schools in England.

Key points

  1. School staff have a legal power to use force and lawful use of the power will provide a defence to any related criminal prosecution or other legal action.
  2. Suspension should not be an automatic response when a member of staff has been accused of using excessive force.
  3. Senior school leaders should support their staff when they use this power.

Topics covered

  • What is reasonable force?
  • Who can use reasonable force?
  • When can reasonable force be used?
  • Power to search pupils without consent
  • Communicating the school's approach to the use of force
  • Using force
  • Staff training
  • Telling parents when force has been used on their child
  • Pupil complaints when force is used on them
  • Other physical contact with pupils
  • FAQs

The Full Guidance