Although the law forbids a teacher to use any degree of physical contact which is deliberately intended to punish a pupil, or which is primarily intended to cause pain, injury or humiliation, section 550A of the Education Act 1996 allows teachers, and other persons who are authorised by the Headteacher to have control or charge of pupils, to use such force as is reasonable in all circumstances to prevent a pupil from doing, or continuing to do, any of the following:
- Committing a criminal offence (including behaving in a way that would be an offence if the pupil was not under the age of criminal responsibility)
- Injuring themselves or others
- Causing damage to property (including the pupil’s own property)
- Engaging in any behaviour prejudicial to maintaining good order and discipline at the school or amongst its pupils, whether that behaviour occurs in a classroom during a teaching session or elsewhere
Because of their special needs and learning disabilities, some of our pupils sometimes do, at times, exhibit behaviour prejudicial to maintaining good order and which could cause injury to themselves, others or property. Staff will deal with these incidents firstly by ensuring the safety of other pupils in the group: which will usually mean withdrawing them to a safe area. Staff will then use the minimum physical intervention required to ensure that the pupil exhibiting the behaviour is prevented from doing damage to himself, the members of staff or property. All staff who deal with pupils who have the potential to behave in this way will receive training in TEAM-TEACH which is a whole school approach to behaviour management we have adopted. There are three qualified TEAM -TEACH instructor on our staff who regularly host revision and review meetings with staff teams. You can find out more about TEAM-TEACH by visiting the website:www.team-teach.co.uk or clicking on the logo above.
A record is kept in the school Incidents / Accidents Book of all occasions when a physical restraint is used and the school nurse will check over any pupil who has required physical restraint to ensure that no injuries have resulted.
Information for members of the public
You may have received a card like this one from a member of our staff:
This is because you may have witnessed one of our pupils not coping and needing a particular kind of support from staff when out in the community. All of our pupils have severe learning difficulties and communication problems. They are still learning how to cope with accessing their local area and at times they can be very anxious and display unusual behaviours. Our staff have been trained in different approaches to helping move these situations forward and they may have discouraged you from helping out and not had the time to explain why. We appreciate your concern and offer of assistance and hope we can allay any worries you may have about things you have seen. The safety of our students is paramount. If you have concerns that have not been resolved by visiting this website then please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You may have seen our staff using physical techniques to move or contain a child or young person until safe to release them. You can find out more about the Team Teach approach by going to the website link above.