Positive Handling Policy


Positive Handling (Restraint of Pupils)


Review Date


Nominated Governor



Mr Hurst

Mrs Addison

We believe this policy relates to the following legislation:

  • Education and Inspections Act 20006
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability (Detained Persons) Regulations 2015

The following documentation is also related to this policy:

  • Equality Act 2010: Advice for Schools (DfE)
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 Years. Statutory Guidance for Organisations Who Work With and Support Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (DfE) and (DoH)
  • Use of Reasonable force in Schools: a summary for Headteachers, Staff and Governing Bodies (DfE)

We work hard to maintain a positive school ethos where all members of the school community work well alongside each other developing positive working relationships.

We are fully committed to every child receiving the very best education and ensuring that all pupils reach their full potential in a safe, secure, welcoming and nurturing school environment where everyone is valued equally and where the use of positive handling is minimised.

We want pupils to come to school to enjoy the meaningful experiences that we offer and where they feel valued and special. We want them to be well behaved and to have a sense of pride in themselves and their school.

We acknowledge that Section 93 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 allows school personnel to use reasonable force to restrain a pupil from doing, or continuing to do, any of the following:

  • committing any offence (or, for a pupil under the age of criminal responsibility, what would be an offence for an older pupil);
  • causing personal injury to, or damage to the property of, any person (including the pupil himself); or
  • prejudicing the maintenance of good order and discipline at the school or among any pupils receiving education at the school, whether during a teaching session or otherwise

(Department for Education – Use of reasonable force)

We understand that there is no legal definition when reasonable force can be used. ‘That will always depend on the precise circumstances of individual circumstances of individual cases. To be judged lawful, the force used would need to be in proportion to the consequences it is intended to prevent. The degree of force used should be the minimum needed to achieve the desired result. Use of force could not be justified to prevent trivial misbehaviour’. (Department for Education – Use of reasonable force)

We understand that unpaid school volunteers or parents accompanying pupils on an educational visit who have been put in temporary charge of pupils by the Headteacher may use reasonable force if need be.

We do not support the use of force as a form of punishment under any circumstance.

We wish to work closely with the School Council and to hear their views and opinions as we acknowledge and support Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child that children should be encouraged to form and to express their views.

We believe it is essential that this policy clearly identifies and outlines the roles and responsibilities of all those involved in the procedures and arrangements that is connected with this policy.



  • To maintain a positive school ethos where all members of the school community work well alongside each other developing positive working relationships.
  • To make school personnel aware that they can use reasonable force to restrain a pupil only in extreme circumstances.
  • To ensure compliance with all relevant legislation connected to this policy.
  • To work with other schools and the local authority to share good practice in order to improve this policy.


Responsibility for the Policy and Procedure


Role of the Governing Body


The Governing Body has:

  • delegated powers and responsibilities to the Headteacher to ensure all school personnel are aware that they can use reasonable force to control or restrain pupils in certain circumstances;
  • delegated powers and responsibilities to the Headteacher to ensure all school personnel and visitors to the school are aware of and comply with this policy;
  • the responsibility to reassure all school personnel that they will not be automatically suspended if they are accused of using excessive force;
  • the responsibility to reassure all school personnel that they will be supported if they use excessive force;
  • responsibility for ensuring that the school complies with all equalities legislation;
  • nominated a designated Equalities governor to ensure that appropriate action will be taken to deal with all prejudice related incidents or incidents which are a breach of this policy;
  • responsibility for ensuring funding is in place to support this policy;
  • responsibility for ensuring this policy and all policies are maintained and updated regularly;
  • make effective use of relevant research and information to improve this policy;
  • responsibility for ensuring all policies are made available to parents;
  • the responsibility of involving the School Council in the development, approval, implementation and review of this policy;
  • nominated a link governor to visit the school regularly, to liaise with the Headteacher and to report back to the Governing Body;
  • responsibility for the effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation of this policy.


Role of the Headteacher


The Headteacher will:

  • ensure all school personnel, pupils and parents are aware of and comply with this policy;
  • ensure that parents are aware that the school does not need the consent of parents to    use reasonable force;
  • provide guidance and support to all staff;
  • provide training for all staff on induction and when the need arises;
  • ensure that all school personnel are aware that they have a legal duty to 'make reasonable adjustments for disabled children and children with special educational needs';
  • make effective use of relevant research and information to improve this policy;
  • keep up to date with new developments and resources;
  • work closely with the link governor and coordinator;
  • provide leadership and vision in respect of equality;
  • monitor the effectiveness of this policy by speaking with pupils, school personnel, parents and governors;
  • annually report to the Governing Body on the success and development of this policy.


Role of the Nominated Governor

The Nominated Governor will:

  • work closely with the Headteacher;
  • ensure this policy and other linked policies are up to date;
  • ensure that everyone connected with the school is aware of this policy;
  • attend training related to this policy;
  • report to the Governing Body every term;
  • annually report to the Governing Body on the success and development of this policy.

Role of School Personnel


School personnel will:

  • comply with all aspects of this policy;
  • take part in training in positive handling techniques;
  • be aware of their responsibility in assessing risks in particular circumstances;
  • make judgements when the use of force is necessary and how much force is to be used;
  • report to the Headteacher all incidents of restraint and record all incidents on the appropriate report form;
  • be aware of all other linked policies;
  • maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour within and outside school and not to undermine fundamental British values;
  • work in partnership parents and carers keeping them up to date with their child's progress and behaviour at school;
  • implement the school’s equalities policy and schemes;
  • report and deal with all incidents of discrimination;
  • attend appropriate training sessions on equality;
  • report any concerns they have on any aspect of the school community.


Role of Pupils


Pupils will promote a positive image of the school and themselves by:

  • being aware of and comply with this policy;
  • listening carefully to all instructions given by the teacher;
  • asking for further help if they do not understand;
  • participating fully in all lessons;
  • treating others, their work and equipment with respect;
  • supporting the school Code of Conduct and guidance necessary to ensure the smooth running of the school;
  • talking to others without shouting and will use language which is neither abusive nor offensive;
  • liaising with the school council;
  • taking part in questionnaires and surveys.

Role of Parents/Carers


Parents/carers will:

  • be aware of and comply with this policy;
  • be asked to take part periodic surveys conducted by the school;
  • support the school Code of Conduct and guidance necessary to ensure smooth running of the school.


Minimising the need to use force


We have the following in place in order to reduce the likelihood of any member of staff using force:

  • A calm, orderly and supportive school climate.
  • Strong and effective relationships between pupils and staff.
  • A whole school approach to developing social and emotional skills by using the SEAL programme (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning).
  • An effective staff development programme that develops the skills of positive behaviour management.
  • Identifying when an incident is going to happen.
  • Using effective strategies to manage all incidents that occur.
  • Informing a disruptive pupil that force may be used before using it.


School Personnel authorised to use force


All school personnel whose job involves supervising pupils may use force to restrain a pupil but only in extreme circumstances.

All staff will receive periodic training in pupil restraint.


Deciding whether to use force


We believe that the use of force and what force to use must always depend on the circumstances of each incident.

We acknowledge that when faced with an incident there is very little time for school personnel to think before making a quick but effective decision.

However, school personnel must be aware of and consider the following:

  • Assessing the seriousness of the incident that if force is not used then it could result in injury, damage or disorder.
  • After considering alternatives for dealing with the situation, force is the only justifiable way of achieving a positive result.
  • Assessing the number of risks connected with using force compared with using other strategies.


Types of Incidents


School personnel will have to make decisions when dealing with any of the following incidents:

  • Fighting - pupils fighting.
  • Attack - a pupil attacks an adult or another pupil.
  • Damage to property – a pupil deliberately damages property or is about to.
  • Injury or damage – a pupil causes or is about to cause injury or damage.
  • Absconding – when a pupil tries to leave school which could put his/her own safety at risk, the safety of others or the damage to property.
  • Defying an instruction – when a pupil persistently refuses to leave a classroom.
  • Disruption of lessons – when a pupil’s behaviour seriously disrupts a lesson.
  • Disrupting a school event – when a pupil’s behaviour seriously disrupts a school event.


Using Force


When faced with an incident and before force is used, school personnel must:

  • act in a calm and measured manner;
  • show no anger or frustration;
  • tell the pupil to stop misbehaving or restraint will be used but will stop when the pupil behaves

School personnel may use the following types of force:

  • passive physical contact by standing between pupils or by blocking a pupil’s path;
  • active physical contact by using restrictive holds, leading a pupil by the arm or hand or ushering a pupil away by placing a hand in the centre of the back

School personnel must make every effort not to harm a pupil or restrain a pupil that could be interpreted as sexually inappropriate conduct.


Risk Assessments


Risk assessments are in place for:

  • a variety of potential incidents
  • individual pupils


School Personnel Training


Identified School personnel will be trained by an accredited trainer from Team Teach in the techniques of restraint and behaviour management.


Staff will receive refresher training as per the schedule set out by Team Teach.

All school personnel:

  • have equal chances of training, career development and promotion
  • receive training on induction which specifically covers:
  • Ø All aspects of this policy
  • Ø Safeguarding and Child Protection
  • Ø Health and Safety
  • Ø Supervision of Pupils
  • Ø Pupil Behaviour and Discipline
  • Ø Equal opportunities
  • Ø Inclusion
  • receive periodic training so that they are kept up to date with new information
  • receive equal opportunities training on induction in order to improve their understanding of the Equality Act 2010 and its implications.


Recording Incidents


Records will be kept of all incidents and will be updated on the schools’ systems -CPOMS.


Reporting Incidents


All incidents will be recorded and reported to the Headteacher who will inform parents by telephone or  by letter of the incident.

Post-incident Support


After an incident has occurred the following procedure will take place:

  • First aid if necessary
  • Medical help if necessary
  • Emotional support to pupils and school personnel
  • Discussions with parents


Complaints and Allegations


All complaints will be dealt thoroughly, speedily and will be appropriately investigated by using the procedures as stated in the school Complaints Policy.


Raising Awareness of this Policy


We will raise awareness of this policy via:


  • the school website
  • the Staff Handbook
  • meetings with school personnel
  • review meetings where a risk assessment of identified pupils indicate that positive handling may be required.
  • reports such annual report to parents and Headteacher reports to the Governing Body

Equality Impact Assessment


Under the Equality Act 2010 we have a duty not to discriminate against people on the basis of their age, disability, gender, gender identity, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation.

This policy has been equality impact assessed and we believe that it is in line with the Equality Act 2010 as it is fair, it does not prioritise or disadvantage any pupil and it helps to promote equality at this school.

Monitoring the Effectiveness of the Policy


The practical application of this policy will be reviewed annually or when the need arises by the coordinator, the Headteacher and the nominated governor.

A statement of the policy's effectiveness and the necessary recommendations for improvement will be presented to the Governing Body for further discussion and endorsement. (See Policy Evaluation)


Linked Policies


§  Safeguarding and Child Protection

§  Health and Safety

§  Supervision of Pupils

§  Pupil Behaviour and Discipline





Chair of Governing Body: