TREDWORTH JUNIOR SCHOOL
|Approved by:||Full Governing Body|
|Last reviewed on:||14 July 2022|
|Next review due by:||July 2024|
The Use of Reasonable Force
Tredworth Junior School is committed to encouraging positive behaviour and has developed this policy to reflect our statutory duties and pastoral responsibilities. It recognises that all staff may have to intervene physically with pupils and must clearly understand the options and strategies open to them.
Restraint will only be used as an act of care and control using the minimum amount of force necessary; the aim being for the child to regain control as quickly as possible.
Our aim is to clearly set out the power that school staff have to use reasonable force to control or restrain pupils and the circumstances in which this power may be exercised. We have referred to and drawn upon the DfE guidance “Use of Reasonable Force, Advice for Headteachers, staff and Governing Bodies 2013.”
This is to help school staff feel more confident about using reasonable force when they deem it appropriate and making clear the responsibilities of school leaders and governing bodies in respect of this power.
Staff are authorised to use reasonable force once other behaviour techniques have failed, to prevent a child from causing injury to self or others, committing an offence, damaging property and prejudicing good order and discipline in school.
Physical Control and Restraint
This will be used only as a last resort following systematic use of the behaviour principles set out in our policy and adhering to ‘Team Teach’ principles.
All Staff are required to recognise and apply the escalating stages in a conflict situation and use pre- physical approaches with children displaying disruptive behaviour.
This may include trying to defuse a situation by:
- Not shouting, lowering their voice and keeping calm.
- Actively listening to the child and recognising their frustration.
- Isolating the area or the child from the area so there is no audience.
- Removing of objects which may pose a risk if thrown.
- Leading the child away from a conflict situation.
- Involving a second or additional adult where possible and where appropriate.
- Being aware of open, conciliatory body language.
- Allowing time for the child to take up an idea or suggestion whilst expecting compliance when issuing an instruction.
- Offering a choice of resolutions.
Application of force
In our school, force is used to either control or restrain a pupil.
Reasonable force can be used to prevent pupils from hurting themselves or others, from damaging property, or from causing disorder.
The decision on whether or not to physically intervene is down to the professional judgement of the staff member concerned and should always depend on the individual circumstances.
Staff are not expected to place themselves in situations where they are likely to suffer injury as a result of their intervention.
Reasonable force may be necessary or deemed appropriate when:
- Action is necessary in either self- defence or because there is an imminent risk of injury to pupils or adults.
- There is a developing risk of injury or significant damage to property where:
- a child absconds or tries to leave school.
- is fighting.
- committing or about to commit an act of vandalism.
- causing self- injury or harm to others.
- Where a child is behaving in a way that is compromising the good order and discipline of the school.
The use of force is never viewed as a punishment – it is always unlawful to use force as a punishment.
- Once de-escalation techniques have taken place, the child will be guided to a safe space.
- The adults who led the pupil away from a situation will remain with the child to ensure an appropriate handover if necessary is actioned, to an appropriate staff member to offer counselling and reflection time once the child is ready.
- Support, reassurance and monitoring will be provided for the child and members of staff involved.
- SMT will be included in the process and parents informed that day.
- Any incident of restraint will be recorded before the start of the next school day on the ‘Record of the Use of Reasonable Force’ form. See appendix 1
A positive handling plan will be in place where appropriate for children with SEND. If we are aware that a pupil is likely to behave in a disruptive way that may require the use of a restrictive physical intervention we will address consistent handling techniques, recognition of triggers, and strategies for anticipating the risk.
This policy acknowledges our legal duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled children and children with special educational needs (SEND) in its implementation.
Appendix 1: Record of the Use of Reasonable Force Form
Name of Pupil:
Date and time of incident:
Brief description of incident:
Was the child concerned liable to injury?
How was the child injured?
Were staff liable to injury?
Was property at risk of being damaged?
Was good order being prejudiced?
Concise details of how the incident began- note the emotions displayed, behaviour, measures taken to avoid harm to the pupil and techniques used to defuse the situation.
Description of the physical intervention /control/restraint used.
Measures taken to ensure the pupil was calmed after the incident.
Description of any injuries sustained.
Date parent/carer informed and by whom.
Brief description of any subsequent complaint or action.
Signature of staff member completing the report.
Signature(s) of all staff members involved in the incident.
Headteacher Signature and date.