Physical Intervention and Restraint Policy

Physical Intervention and Restraint Policy








Policy Agreement


We, the Board of Trustees of Hebden Bridge School having considered and reviewed the attached policy, agree to accept all the Statements, Principles and Procedures as listed in the document.


Policy Ratified at Full Governors                                        

At Hebden Bridge 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 Lead teacher 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 Lead 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:-

Ø causing injury to his/herself or others
Ø committing an offence
Ø damaging property
Ø prejudicing the maintenance of good order & discipline’

  1. Our approach

At Hebden Bridge 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.

  1. 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 Team Teach to de-escalate where possible then use the appropriate holds as practised in the training. However, 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
  • · Hold limbs above a major joint if possible e.g. above the elbow
  • · Relax your restraint in response to the pupil’s compliance


  • · 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 e.g. around the neck
  • · Slap, punch, kick or trip up the pupil
  • · Use physical restraint or intervention as a punishment
  1. 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 Lead teacher 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 address the situation through the development of a behavioural IEP, which may include an anger management programme, or other strategies agreed by the SENCO. This may require additional support from, other services, for example the LA BST.

In some circumstances a CAF 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 Pupil Restraint Report Form (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.

A copy should be filed in the child’s appropriate file and in a central school file in order to inform individual and school risk assessments.

A member of the leadership team 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.

  1. Risk Assessments

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. Such planning will address:

  • Ø Strategies to be used prior to intervention
  • Ø Ways of avoiding ‘triggers’ if these are known
  • Ø Involvement of parents to ensure that they are clear about the specific action the school might need to take
  • Ø Briefing of staff to ensure they know exactly what action they should be taking (this may identify a need for training or guidance)
  • Ø Identification of additional support that can be summoned if appropriate
  • Ø The school’s duty of care to all pupils and staff
  1. 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 bi-yearly basis.

Pupil Name:D.o.B:

Member(s) of staff involved:

Adult witnesses to restraint:
Pupil witnesses to restraint:
Outline of event leading to restraint:

Outline of incident of restraint (including restraint method used):


Outcome of restraint:

Description of any injury(ies) sustained by injured pupil and any subsequent treatment


Date parent/carer informed of incident: Time: By whom informed:
Outline of parent/carer response:

Signature of staff completing report: Date: Signature of Teacher-in-charge: Date: Signature of Head STS: Date:

Brief description of any subsequent inquiry/complaint or action: