At Bowmandale Primary School we support the position taken by the Human Rights Act 1998 and
     seek to protect the rights of all children. We do however recognise that physical intervention may
     sometimes be necessary, this should normally be a last resort, and must be seen as only one part
     of a wider behaviour management strategy.


     Positive Handling should be limited to emergency situations and used only in the last resort.
     Section 93 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 enables schools staff (teachers and other
     members of staff at a school who are authorised by the Headteacher); to use such force as is
     reasonable in circumstances where the pupil may need to be prevented from engaging in behavior
     which is likely to cause injury to themselves, others or damage to property. The guidance extends
     this to maintaining good order and discipline, for both on-site and off- site activities.

     Positive Handling should only be used when all other strategies which do not employ force have
     been tried and found unsuccessful or in an emergency situation.

     There is no legal definition of reasonable force. The Criminal Law Act (1967) allows any person to
     use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances to prevent an offence (e.g. physical assault)
     being committed. Reasonable minimal force must be a matter of personal judgment. All teachers
     have a professional duty to maintain ‘good order and discipline among the pupils and safeguard
     their health and safety’ within their job description which is underwritten in the School Teachers’
     Pay and Conditions Document. Together with the legislative framework this enables all teachers at
     a school and other members of staff in the school, authorized by the Headteacher, to use such
     force as is reasonable in the circumstances, to prevent a pupil from:
          committing an offence
          causing personal injury to, or damage to the property of, any person (including the pupil
             himself); or
          engaging in any behavior prejudicial to the maintenance of good order and discipline at the
             school or among its pupils, whether during a teaching session or otherwise.


     Our policy on the use of reasonable force is part of our overall pastoral care procedures and closely
     related to our policies on managing pupil behavior i.e. Behavior Policy, and also to the LA’s ‘Child
     Protection Guidelines’.

     This policy aims to:-
          promote positive management strategies throughout our school. The safety and well-being
            of all staff, children and young people is of paramount importance. The school’s values of
            equality, openness, responsiveness and partnership will be supported by this policy
          protect all pupils against any form of physical intervention which is unnecessary,
            inappropriate, excessive or harmful *
          will enable staff to be clear as to what constitutes appropriate behaviour and to deal
            effectively with violent or potentially violent situations *
          ensure staff use the minimum degree of force necessary to accomplish positive handling *

           give full support to staff who have been assaulted or have suffered verbal abuse from pupils
            or others
           inform stakeholders how the school will maintain accurate records of incidents where
            positive handling has been employed

* following Team Teach


     Physical intervention is the use of force to control or restrain children. What is reasonable force?
     There is no legal definition of reasonable force. The use of force can only be regarded as
     reasonable if the circumstances of the particular incident warrant it and the degree of force
     employed is proportionate to the level of challenging behaviour presented or the consequences it is
     intended to prevent.

4.1 Acceptable physical interventions:-
    These can take several forms:-
        Physically interposing between children
        Blocking a child’s path
        Holding
        Pushing/ pulling
        Leading a child by the arm or hand
        Shepherding a child away by placing a hand in the centre of the back
        Using more restrictive holds (in extreme circumstances)

     In exceptional circumstances where there is immediate risk of injury, a member of staff may need to
     take any necessary action that is consistent with the concept of reasonable force. For example, to
     prevent a young child running off a pavement onto a busy road.

4.2 Non-acceptable physical intervention:-
        Any corporal punishment
        Holding a child around the neck, by the hair or by the ear
        Slapping, punching or kicking a child
        Twisting or forcing limbs against a joint
        Tripping up a child
        Holding a child face down on the ground

     Staff should always avoid touching or holding a child in a way that might be considered indecent.


     Children’s sensitivities and sensibilities, their likely perception of situations, their emotional state
     and their levels of understanding should always be carefully considered before any behaviour
     strategy is applied. The schools Behaviour and Discipline Policy should be implemented before
     physical intervention is contemplated. Physical interventions should only be used when they are in
     the best interest of a child, other children, emergency situations where the pupil may need to be
     prevented from engaging in behavior which is likely to cause injury to themselves, others or
     damage to property; and used only in the last resort. Where children have special educational
     needs any use of physical intervention, except in an emergency, would be incorporated into the
     child’s Individual Education of Behaviour Plan.

5.1 Circumstances in which physical interventions may be necessary:-
        1. Committing an offence
        2. Causing personal injury to, or damage to the property of, any person (including the pupil
           himself); or

        3. Engaging in any behaviour prejudicial to the maintenance of good order and discipline at
           the school or amongst it’s pupils, whether during a teaching session or otherwise.

       Examples of situations that fall into one of the first two categories are
         A pupil attacks a member of staff, or another pupil;
         Pupils fighting;
         A pupil is causing, or at risk of causing, injury or damage by accident, by rough play, or by
          misuse of dangerous materials, substances or objects;
         A pupil is running in a corridor or on a stairway in a way in which he/she might have or
          cause an accident likely to injure her/himself or others;
         A pupil absconds from a class or tries to leave school (NB this will only apply if a pupil
          could be at risk if not kept in the classroom or at school).

       Examples of situations that fall into the third category are:
         A pupil persistently refuses to obey an order to leave a classroom.
         A pupil is behaving in such a way that is seriously disrupting a lesson.

    Staff should always consider carefully whether physical intervention is appropriate. They should
    try to deal with a situation through other strategies before using force.

    All staff need developed strategies and techniques for dealing with difficult children which they
    should use to defuse and calm the situation, particularly where there is no direct risk to people and
    property. As the aim is establishing good order, any action which could exacerbate the situation
    needs to be avoided.

    The possible consequences of intervening physically, including the risk of increasing the
    disruption or actually provoking an attack, need to be carefully evaluated.

    Physical intervention should never be used as a substitute for good behavior management.


6.1 Restraint should be used rarely and only when a child is in personal danger, is threatening the
    safety of other children or when there is willful damage or the threat of significant damage to
    property. There needs to be a clear and agreed definition of what constitutes behavior prejudicial
    to maintaining good order and discipline.

6.2 The school follows the Local Authority Team Teach method for positive handling.

          All possible steps should be taken before using restraint in crisis intervention, through
           applying the Team Teach Six Stages of a Crisis strategies (see Appendix 1)

6.3 Physical restraint involves holding, detaining and moving children against their will and the
    restriction of movement. Children should be spoken to throughout the restraint explaining that the
    restraint will stop when the child is calm.

6.4 Staff need to exercise professional judgment to ensure that only the minimal force necessary is
    used. Restraint should last for the shortest time possible to achieve its purpose.

6.5 A calm and measured approach to a situation is needed and staff should never give the impression
    that they have lost their temper or are acting out of anger or frustration when handling a problem.

6.6 Children and parents or carers should be helped to understand the situations in which restraint
    may be used and its purpose. A written record (See Appendix 2) should be made where restraint
    has been necessary and parents should be routinely informed.

6.7 Restraint may be part of a planned strategy for a specific behavior for a certain child. This should
    be recorded and agreed with staff, parents, external professionals and wherever possible with the
    child also.

6.8 Following an incident in which restrictive physical interventions are employed, both staff and
    children should be given separate opportunities to talk about what happened in a calm and safe
    environment. Interviews should only take place when those involved have recovered their
    composure. Post incident interviews should be designed to discover exactly what happened and
    the effects on the participants. They should not be used to apportion blame or to punish those
    involved. If there is any reason to suspect that a child or a member of staff has experienced injury
    or severe distress following the use of a physical intervention, they should receive prompt medical

6.9 To help protect the interests of children who are exposed to restrictive physical interventions it is
    good practice to involve, wherever possible, family carers and independent advocates in planning,
    monitoring and reviewing how and when they are used.


7.1 School may need to make an Individual Risk Assessment where it is known that force is more likely
    to be necessary to control or restrain a particular pupil whose SEN and/or disability is associated
    with extreme behavior.

7.2 If Positive Handling is likely to be necessary this should be included in the pupil’s Individual
    Education Plan (IEP). On occasions it may be necessary for outside agencies (for example
    Educational Psychologist, staff from the Primary Behavior Support Unit or medical personnel) to be
    involved in the planning meetings.

7.3 The school’s respect for the rights of the individual takes into consideration the context of The
    Human Rights Act (1998) and The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1991). The
    school’s ethos and the guidance in this policy is based on the presumption that every adult and
    child is entitled to:
          respect for his/her private life,
          the right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment,
          the right to liberty and security: and
          the right not to be discriminated against in his/her enjoyment of those rights.


    From section 550A of The Education Act 1996:
    9. The Act allows all teachers at a school to use reasonable force to control or restrain pupils. It
    also allows other people to do so, in the same way as teachers, provided they have been authorised
    by the Head teacher to have control or charge of pupils. Those might include classroom assistants,
    care workers, midday supervisors, specialist support assistants, education welfare officers,
    escorts, caretakers, or voluntary helpers including people accompanying pupils on visits,
    exchanges or holidays organised by the school.

    10. Head teachers should identify people, other than teachers, whom they wish to authorise to have
    control or charge of pupils and therefore be able to use force if necessary. Authorisation may be on
    a permanent or long term basis because of the nature of the person's job, or short term for a
    specific event such as a school trip. The Head should explicitly inform the people concerned, and
    ensure that they are aware of and properly understand what the authorisation entails. To ensure
    that, Heads may find it helpful to arrange for a senior member of the teaching staff to provide
    training or guidance. They should keep an up-to-date list of authorised people and ensure the
    teachers know whom they are.


     The use of a restrictive physical intervention, whether planned or unplanned (emergency) should
     always be recorded as quickly as practicable (and in any event within 24 hours of the incident) by
     the person(s) involved (See Appendix 1) and is kept by Headteacher. This record should be
     photocopied a copy kept with the child’s records. Records should be reviewed on a half-termly
     Where repeated incidents are recorded involving the same pupil a risk assessment (See Appendix
     3) should be completed and a physical restraint plan be included in the child’s Individual Education
     Plan or Behavior Plan.
     Where a member of staff, who is not a member of the Senior Leadership Team, has several
     incidents recorded further training may be necessary.


     At Bowmandale Primary School staff who are authorised to intervene physically have been taught
     the Team Teach method of positive handling strategies (there are no government approved training
     techniques for Positive Handling). It is also the responsibility of the Headteacher to ensure Team
     Teach training and guidance is in place for staff.

     This training in physical intervention is seen as part of an overall approach to behavior
     management which emphasizes:-
          building and maintaining good relationships
          managing difficult behavior
          using physical intervention as an extreme of a gradual, graded continuum of measures
          supported by training in techniques and rigorous procedures for recording/monitoring.

     A log of staff and dates of their training will be kept within school in order to ensure all staff training
     is current. Additional advice and support on managing behavior can be provided through the
     Educational Psychology Service or Behavior Support Service. The SEN and Inclusion Leader along
     with the CPD Leader will oversee staff training.

     It is the policy of the LA that only staff who have received up to date Team Teach training are
     authorised to intervene physically with children. If any member of staff has a physical injury or is
     unwell then they should not physically restrain a child. If there is a possibility that physical restraint
     may be necessary other members of staff should be requested to attend.


     Incidents involving the use of force can cause the parents of the children involved great concern. At
     Bowmandale Primary School we feel it is essential to inform parents of an incident involving their
     child, and give them an opportunity to discuss it. The Headteacher or a member of staff to whom
     the incident is reported, will need to consider whether that should be done straightaway and
     whether parents should be told orally or/ and in writing.

     A child assessed to be at risk of needing physical intervention should be the subject of a formally
     recorded behavior management plan. This plan should:-
          outline the strategies which will be used to defuse situations
          give techniques staff will normally aim to use and those which would be inappropriate
          be reviewed at least 3-monthly and revised as appropriate, with all relevant staff informed
          wherever practicable, be made known to parents/carers and relevant professionals
          be placed on the child’s personal file.
     Good practice would involve parents/ carers and the children themselves in the proposed strategy
     and obtain parents’ written agreement to behavior management plans prepared on their children.
     On occasions it may be necessary for outside agencies (for example Educational Psychologist,
     staff from the Primary Behavior Support Unit) to be involved in the planning meetings.


     We all have a duty of care to the young people in our school and cannot escape our legal
     responsibilities by avoiding taking appropriate and necessary action. Involving parents when an
     incident occurs with their child, together with a clear policy adhered to by the staff, and should help
     to avoid complaints from parents. It will not prevent all complaints, however, and a dispute about
     the use of force by a member of staff might lead to an investigation, either under disciplinary
     procedures or by the Police and Children’s Services under child protection procedures.

     In the unlikely event that a complaint results in a disciplinary hearing or a criminal prosecution or in
     a civil action brought by the child or the parents the panel or court would have regard to the
     provisions of law and it would also be likely to take account of the policy on restraint, whether that
     had been followed, and the need to prevent injury, damage or disruption, in considering all the
     circumstances of the case.

     Staff, subjected to physical violence or assault, have the right to be supported in making a formal
     complaint to the police and, if necessary, taking private action against an assailant.

     It is our intention to inform all staff, pupils, parents and governors about these procedures and the
     context in which they apply.


     The effectiveness of this policy will be reviewed and evaluated by the staff as part of the rolling
     programme. The Headteacher will report the result of the evaluation to the governing body and
     recommend any policy changes as and when they become necessary.


     Education and Inspections Act 2006
     The Disability and Discrimination Act (1995)
     The Health and Safety at Work Act (1974)
     The Human Rights Act (1998)
     DfEE Circular 20/99
     DCSF Guidance Use of Force 2009


        1   Six Stages of a Crisis
        2   Use Of Force To Control Or Restrain Pupils: Incident Log
        3   Positive Handling Plan

     Adopted policy while awaiting a LA Model Policy
     December 2009
     Updated December 2010

Appendix 1

                                      SIX STAGES OF A CRISIS


Anxiety/       Defensive/         Crisis             Recovery         Depression     Follow up
Trigger        Escalation
Need for       Need for           Possible need      Need for         Need for       Need for
diversion,     diversion,         for Restrictive    coordinated      observation,   listening
support and    reassurance,       intervention       letting go and   support and    and
reassurance    clear limits,      appropriate for    reassurance      monitoring     learning
               boundaries and     the service
               choices            user

Stage 1 – Low Level Behaviours
    Individual show signs of anxiety
    Hiding face in hands or bent over/under table
    Pulling up collar or pulling down hat
    Rocking or tapping
    Withdrawing from group
    Refusing to speak or dismissive
    Refusing to co-operate
    Adopting defensive postures

   Low Level Positive Handling Responses
    Read the body language
    Read the behavior
    Intervene early
    Communicate – “Talk and I’ll Listen”
    Use appropriate humour
    Display CALM body language
    Talk low and slow and quietly
    Offer reassurance – including positive physical prompts
    Assess the situation
    Divert and distract by introducing another activity or topic

Stage 2 – Medium Level Behaviours
    Individual begins to display higher tension
    Belligerent and abusive
    Making personal and offensive remarks
    Talking louder – higher – quicker
    Adopting aggressive postures
    Changes in eye contact
    Pacing around

      Breaking minor rules
      Low level destruction
      Picking up objects which could be used as weapons
      Challenges – “I will not… you can’t make me”

   Medium Level Positive Handling Responses
    Continue to use Level One de-escalation responses+
    State desired behaviours clearly
    Set clear enforceable limits
    Offer alternatives and options
    Offer clear choices
    Give a get out with dignity
    Assess the situation and consider making the environment safer and getting help
    Guide the elbows towards safety

Stage 3 – High Level Behaviours
    Shouting and screaming
    Crying
    Damaging property
    Moving towards danger
    Fiddling with electrics
    Climbing trees, roofs or out of windows
    Tapping or threatening to break glass
    Moving towards weapons
    Picking up objects which can be used as weapons
    Hurting self
    Grabbing or threatening others
    Hurting others (kicking – slapping – punching)

   High Level Positive Handling Responses
    Continue to use all the Level One and Two De-escalation responses
    Make the environment safer
    Moving furniture and removing weapon objects
    Guide assertively – hold or restrain if absolutely necessary
    Ensure face, voice and posture are supportive not aggressive
    Use Help Protocol to save face by changing face

Stage 4 – Recovery Behaviours
    The recovery stage can easily be confused with the anxiety stage
    People may sit quietly in a hunched position
    The difference is that they can revert to extreme violence without the build-up associated
       with the normal escalation at Stage 2

   Recovery Positive Handling Responses
    Support and monitor
    This may not be a good time to touch as touch at this stage can provoke a reversion to
    Give space
    Look for signs that the person is ready to talk

Stage 5 – Depression
    After a serious incident people can become depressed
        They may not want to interact

    Depression Positive Handling Responses
     Support and monitor
     Respond to any signs that the person wants to communicate
     Show concern and care but do not attempt to resolve residual disciplinary issues at this

Stage 6 Follow Up
    Listening and Learning
    Recording, reporting and communicating
    Planning to avoid similar events in the future

Listening and Learning can only begin when the client is ready. It cannot be forced. Staff should
ensure that there is sufficient time so that the process will not feel rushed.

The TELL acronym stands for Timing, Environment, Listening and Learning. There can be no hard
and fast rule about choosing the right time.

The conceptual model used in the Team-Teach stages of crisis diagram is taken from:-
Kaplan, S: Wheeler, E: ‘Survival Skills for Working with Potentially Violent Clients@ Social Casework (64); 339-346, 1983

                                                                                                   Appendix 2


Details of pupil or pupils on whom force was used by a member of staff (name, class)

Date, time and location of incident

Names of staff involved (directly or as witnesses)

Details of other pupils involved (directly or as a witnesses), including whether any of the pupils involved were
vulnerable for SEN, disability, medical or social reasons

Description of incident by the staff involved, including any attempts to deescalate and warnings given that force
might be used

Reason for using force and description of force used

Any injury suffered by staff or pupils and any first aid and/or medical attention required

Reasons for making a record of the incident

Follow up, including post-incident support and any disciplinary action against pupils

Any information about the incident shared with staff not involved in it and external agencies

When and how those with parental responsibility were informed about the incident and any views they have

Report compiled by:-
Name and role:-

                                                                                           Appendix 3

Bowmandale Primary School

Positive Handling Plan

Name of Pupil:                                        Date of birth:

Background Information:-

Welcome: -

Trigger Behaviors: (Describe common behaviors/situations which are associated with the
requirements to use positive handling techniques. When is such behavior likely to occur?)

Topography of Behavior: - (Describe what the behavior looks / sounds like.)

Preferred supportive Strategies: - Other ways of calming such behaviors. Describe strategies that,
where and when possible, such be attempted before positive handling techniques are used.)


Home Rewards:-





Opportunity for ‘chill-out’/ giving space:-

Exclusion from the classroom (‘time-out’ out of class):-

Playtime / Hall Assaults:-

Preferred Handling Strategies: - (Describe the preferred holds: standing, sitting, ground, stating
numbers of staff, what “get outs” that can be used when holding, etc.)

De-Briefing Process following incident: - (What is the care to be provided for child and staff?)


When the incident has passed:-

Name of person completing plan:- ………………..……… Signature:- …….…………….. Date:- ………...

Parent/s Signature:- ……………………………..                                            Date:- ………………..

Review Date: - …………………

Views of those with parental responsibility:-


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