Physical Intervention Policy

Physical Intervention and Restraint Policy

At Kemball School, we are committed to a positive behaviour policy which encourages children to make positive behaviour choices. On rare occasions circumstances may result in a situation that requires some form of physical intervention by staff. Our policy for physical intervention is based upon the following principles:-

  • Physical intervention should be used only as a last resort when other appropriate strategies have failed.

  • Any physical contact should be only the minimum required

  • Physical intervention must be used in ways that maintain the safety and dignity of all concerned

  • Incidents must be recorded and reported to the Headteacher as soon as possible

  • Parents will be informed of each incident

    1. The Legal Framework

    Section 93 of the Education & Inspections Act 2006 allows:-

     ‘teachers and other persons who are authorised by the Head Teacher who have control or charge of pupils to use such force as is reasonable in all the circumstances to prevent a pupil from doing, or continuing to do, any of the following:-

  • causing injury to his/herself or others

  • committing an offence

  • damaging property

  • prejudicing the maintenance of good order & discipline’

    2. Our approach

    At Kemball School we aim to avoid the need for physical intervention and regard this as a last resort in a minority of situations. We always aim to deal with behaviour using a positive approach and therefore this policy should be read in connection with our Behaviour Policy.

    It is not possible to define every circumstance in which physical restraint would be necessary or appropriate and staff will have to exercise their own judgement in situations which arise within the above categories. Staff should always act within the School’s policy on behaviour and discipline, particularly in dealing with disruptive behaviour.

    Staff should be aware that when they are in charge of children during the school day, or during other supervised activities, they are acting in loco parentis and have a ‘Duty of Care’ to all children they are in charge of. They must, therefore, take reasonable action to ensure all pupils’ safety and wellbeing.

    Staff are not expected to place themselves in situations where they are likely to suffer injury as a result of their intervention.

    3. Use of physical restraint

    Physical restraint should be applied as an act of care and control with the intention or re-establishing verbal control as soon as possible and, at the same time, allows the pupil to regain self-control. It should never take a form which could be seen as punishment.

    Staff are only authorised to use reasonable force in applying physical restraint, although there is no absolute definition of this. What constitutes reasonable force depends upon the particular situation and the pupil to whom it is being applied. Teachers should apply the training they received in MAPA to de-escalate. During the initial transition meeting MAPA strategies will be shared with parents and consent will be asked for.

    As a general rule, only the force necessary to stop or prevent danger should be used, in accordance with the guidelines below.

    In all circumstances, alternative methods should be used as appropriate with physical intervention or restraint, a last resort.

    When physical restraint becomes necessary:


  • tell the pupil what you are doing and why

  • use the minimum force necessary

  • involve another member of staff if possible

  • tell the pupil what s/he must do for you to remove the restraint (this may need frequent repetition)

  • Use simple and clear language


  • Act in temper (involve another staff member if you fear loss of control)

  • Involve yourself in a prolonged verbal exchange with the pupil

  • Involve other pupils in the restraint

  • Touch or hold the pupil in a way that could be viewed as sexually inappropriate conduct

  • Twist or force limbs back against a joint

  • Bend fingers or pull hair

  • Hold the pupil in a way which will restrict blood flow or breathing eg. around the neck

  • Slap, punch, kick or trip up the pupil

  • Use physical restraint or intervention as punishment.

    4. Actions after an incident

    Physical restraint often occurs in response to highly charged emotional situations and there is a clear need for debriefing after the incident, both for the staff involved and the pupil. The SMT should be informed of any incident as soon as possible and will take responsibility for making arrangements for debriefing once the situation has stabilised. An appropriate member of the teaching staff should always be involved in debriefing the pupil involved and any victims of the incident should be offered support, and their parents informed.

    If the behaviour is part of an ongoing pattern it may be necessary to seek  additional support from, other services, for example the LA SEN teams.

    In some circumstances an Early Help Intervention may be appropriate to help identify an additional need for a particular child. It is also helpful to consider the circumstances precipitating the incident to explore ways in which future incidents can be avoided.

    All incidents should be recorded immediately on the Significant Event Record (attached). All sections of this report should be completed so that any patterns of behaviour can be identified and addressed.

    In the event of any future complaint or allegation this record will provide essential and accurate information.

    Staff will contact parents as soon as possible after an incident, normally on the same day, to inform them of the actions that were taken and why, and to provide them with an opportunity to discuss it.

    The completed form should be placed in the Significant Event tray, located in the main office as soon as possible after the event but definitely before the end of that school day.  SMT will review all paperwork and will follow up any necessary actions, which may include feedback with staff involved.  This paperwork will then be placed in a confidential central school file. SMT will log the incidents and collate data on a termly basis for reporting to governors.

    5. Behaviour plan

    If we become aware that a pupil is likely to behave in a disruptive way that may require the use of reasonable force, we will plan how to respond if the situation arises, this will be in the form of a behaviour plan that will include identified risks. All staff involved with that pupil should contribute towards the behaviour plan. 

    Behaviour plans should include the following:

  • Strategies to be used prior to intervention

  • Ways of avoiding ‘triggers’ if these are known

  • The identified behaviours displayed that pose a risk to the individual, pupils and staff.

  • De-escalation strategies

  • Identification of additional support that can be summoned if appropriate

    Once the behaviour plan has been completed it should be shared with a member of the SMT.  When this has been approved, parents should be invited into school for a meeting to discuss the plan. A signature from parents will be required to acknowledge their agreement.  After this meeting the staff will share the plan with the pupil.

    6. Complaints and Allegations

    A clear restraint policy, adhered to by all staff and shared with parents, should help to avoid complaints from parents. It is unlikely to prevent all complaints, however, and a dispute about the use of force by a member of staff might lead to an investigation, either under the complaints disciplinary or allegation management procedures.

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

    We will review this policy on a yearly basis.


    Keeping Children Safe in Education 2014

    The Use of Force to Control or Restrain Pupils 2007 DSCF

    Care and Control Guidelines 2006 ER CFAS

    School Safeguarding Policy

    Acting Headteacher  - Lisa Hughes   – January 2015

    Chair of Governors –  Hilary Gregory