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Teachers Told to Use Reasonable Force to Control Pupils

Monday 11th July 2011

New guidance on violence in schools has been published today for teachers. The report covers the level of restraint and force that teachers can use to control unruly behaviour in pupils. Many schools currently have a ’no touch’ policy in place, to avoid being sued by parents, but the new policy places a ban on these rules and says that head teachers should be cautious about suspending teachers accused of using “excessive force on pupils". Unfounded accusations should not be placed on the teachers records and they should consider calling in police to prosecute pupils who make serious false allegations against staff.

Teachers will not be banned from comforting children or for touching pupils when demonstrating sport techniques for example. The guidance also sets out the level of reasonable force that teachers should be able to use in preventing physical fights in the classroom such as standing in the way of arguing pupils to block their paths, or restraining pupils by holding them by the arm without causing injury.

The schools will also be given the power to search pupil’s clothes, bags and lockers for alcohol, weapons or drugs without their own consent and to punish them for bad behaviour made outside of normal school hours such as weekends and evenings.

Nick Gibb, the Schools Minister, said: "This new, clear and concise guidance removes the red tape that has stopped teachers from being confident in maintaining discipline in the classroom. It will also help schools promote good behaviour.”

The Government legislation wants to tackle the growing problem of violence against teachers in school as well as to help schools deal with assaults outside of school.

Stand Against Violence offers comprehensive free teaching resources on their website about the problem of mindless violence and how it can be dealt with effectivly.


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