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Care and Control of Pupils Policy

ACCRINGTON BENJAMIN HARGREAVES CE (VA) PRIMARY SCHOOL

POLICY ON CARE AND CONTROL OF PUPILS

March 2017

Mission Statement

We at Benjamin Hargreaves strive for excellence and enjoyment in education by providing a safe, secure, caring family environment, where all are valued and respected as individuals.

We will endeavour to enable all children to reach their full potential, whilst growing in their love and understanding of the Christian Faith.

 

Introduction

This policy has been prepared for the support of all teaching and support staff and for volunteers working within School to explain the School's arrangements for care and control. Its contents are available to parents and pupils. A copy of the School’s Behaviour and Discipline Policy is published on the school website. This statement includes information on the use of ‘reasonable force’ to control or restrain pupils.

The responsible person for the implementation of the policy is the Headteacher and the policy will be reviewed annually by the Headteacher and the Governing Body.

 

Purpose of Policy

Good personal and professional relationships between staff and pupils are vital to ensure good order in our School. It is recognised that the majority of pupils in our School respond positively to the discipline and control practised by staff. This ensures the well-being and safety of all pupils and staff in School. It is also acknowledged that, in some exceptional circumstances, staff may need to use ‘reasonable force’.

 

Every effort will be made to ensure that all staff:

  • clearly understand this policy and their responsibilities, in the context of their duty of care, to take appropriate measures where ‘reasonable force’ is necessary;
  • are provided with appropriate training to deal with these difficult situations.

 

The use of any form of physical control places staff in a vulnerable situation. It can only be justified according to the circumstances described in this policy. Staff, therefore, have a responsibility to follow the policy and to seek alternative strategies, wherever possible, in order to limit the number of incidents where physical intervention is needed.

 

‘Reasonable force ‘will only be used as a last resort when all other behaviour management strategies have failed or when pupils, staff or property are at risk.

 

Definitions

Physical Contact - Situations in which proper physical contact occurs between staff and pupils, e.g. in the care of pupils with learning disabilities; in games/PE; to comfort pupils.

Physical Intervention - This may be used to divert a pupil from a destructive or disruptive action, for example guiding or leading a pupil by the hand, arm or shoulder with little or no force.

Physical Control/Restraint - This will involve the use of ‘reasonable force’ when there is an immediate risk to pupils, staff or property. All such incidents must be recorded.

 

Underpinning our Christian Values

Everyone attending or working in School has a right to:

  • recognition of their unique identity as a child of God;
  • be treated with respect and dignity;
  • learn and work in a safe, Christian environment;
  • be protected from harm, violence, assault and acts of verbal abuse;

 

Pupils attending this School and their parents have a right to:

  • individual consideration of pupil needs by the staff who have responsibility for their care and protection;
  • expect staff to undertake their duties and responsibilities in accordance with the School's policies and Christian foundation;
  • be informed about School Rules, relevant policies and the expected conduct of all pupils and staff working in School;
  • be informed about the School's Complaints Procedure.

 

School will ensure that pupils understand the need for and respond to clearly defined limits which govern behaviour.

 

Parents/carers have committed themselves through the Home-School Agreement to ensure the good behaviour of their child and that he/she understands and follows the School’s Behaviour and Discipline Policy.

 

Authorised Staff

In School all members of staff are authorised to use ‘reasonable force’. Those whom the Headteacher has not authorised will be told what steps to take in the case of an incident where control or restraint is needed, for example to contact an authorised member of staff.

Supply staff will not be authorised to use ‘reasonable force’.

The Headteacher will maintain a list of those who have been authorised and training which has been provided.

 

Staff from the Authority Working Within the School

Support Services will have their own policies of care and control of pupils but service staff will, whilst on school premises, be expected to be aware of and operate within the policy of this School.

 

Training

Training for all staff will be made available and will be the responsibility of the Headteacher. No member of staff will be expected to undertake the use of ‘reasonable force’ without appropriate training. Prior to the provision of training, guidance will be given on the action to be taken. Arrangements will be made clear as part of the induction of staff and training will be provided as part of on-going staff development.

 

Strategies for Dealing with Challenging Behaviour

Staff consistently use positive strategies to encourage acceptable behaviour and good order.

Every effort will be made to resolve conflicts positively and without harm to pupils or staff, property, buildings or the environment. Where unacceptable behaviour threatens good order and discipline and provokes intervention, some or all of the following approaches should be taken according to the circumstances of the incident:

  • verbal acknowledgement of unacceptable behaviour with request for the pupil to refrain (this includes negotiation, care and concern);
  • a further verbal reprimand stating:
  • that this is the second request for compliance;
  • an explanation of why the observed behaviour is unacceptable;
  • an explanation of what will happen if the unacceptable behaviour continues.
  • warning of intention to intervene physically and that this will cease when the pupil complies.
  • if possible, summon assistance.
  • physical intervention. ‘Reasonable force’ uses the minimum degree of force to prevent a child harming him or herself, others or property.

Escalating Situations

The 2006 Education and Inspections Act (Section 93) enables school staff to use ‘reasonable force’ to prevent a pupil from doing, or continuing to do any of the following:

  • engage in any behaviour prejudicial to maintaining good order and discipline at the school or among any of its pupils, whether the behaviour occurs in a classroom, during a teaching session or elsewhere (This includes authorised out-of-school activities);
  • self-injuring or placing him or herself at risk;
  • injuring others;
  • causing damage to property, including that which belongs to the pupil him/herself;
  • committing a criminal offence (even if the pupil is below the age of criminal responsibility).

 

Types of Incidents

The incidents described in Circular 10/98 fall into three broad categories:

  • where action is necessary in self-defence or because there is an imminent risk of injury;
  • where there is a developing risk of injury, or significant damage to property;
  • where a pupil is behaving in a way that is compromising good order or discipline;

 

Examples of situations which fall within one of the first two categories are:

  • a pupil attacks a member of staff, or another pupil;
  • pupils are fighting;
  • a pupil is engaged in, or is on the verge, of committing deliberate damage or vandalism to property;
  • a pupil is causing, or at risk of causing, injury or damage by accident, by rough play, or by misuse of dangerous materials or objects;
  • a pupil is running on a corridor or on a stairway in a way which he or she might have or may cause an accident likely to injure him or herself 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 in School).

 

Examples of situations which fall into the third category are:

  • a pupil persistently refuses to obey an order to leave a classroom;
  • a pupil is behaving in a way that is seriously disrupting a lesson.

 

Acceptable Measures of Physical Intervention

The use of any degree of force can only be deemed reasonable if:

  • it is warranted by the particular circumstances of the incident;
  • it is delivered in accordance with the seriousness of the incident and the consequences which it is desired to prevent;
  • it is carried out as the minimum to achieve the desired result;
  • the age, understanding and gender of the pupil are taken into account;
  • it is likely to achieve the desired result.

Wherever possible assistance should be sought from another member of staff before intervening.

 

Physical intervention uses the minimum degree of force necessary for the shortest period of time to prevent a pupil harming himself, herself, others or property.

 

This form of physical intervention may involve staff:

  • physically interposing themselves between pupils;
  • blocking a pupil's path;
  • escorting a pupil, leading a pupil by the hand or arm;
  • ushering a pupil away by placing a hand in the centre of their back;
  • shepherding a pupil away.

When members of staff use ‘restraint’ they physically prevent a pupil from continuing what they were doing after they have been told to stop. Restraint techniques are used normally in more extreme circumstances, such as when two pupils are involved in a fight and physical intervention is needed to separate them.

 

In extreme circumstances, trained staff may need to use more restrictive holds.

 

Any such measures will be most effective in the context of the overall Christian ethos of the School, the way in which staff exercise their responsibilities and the behaviour management strategies used. Wherever ‘reasonable force’ is used, staff must keep talking to the pupil.

 

Recording and Reporting Significant Incidents

The Governing Body must ensure that a procedure is in place, and is followed by staff, for recording the details of the incident and reporting to parents/carers significant incidents where a member of staff has used force on a pupil. Incidents must be recorded and reported if they involve any of the following circumstances:

  • an incident where unreasonable amount of force is used;
  • an incident where substantial force is used e.g. pushing a child;
  • use of a restraint technique;
  • an incident where a child is very distressed;
  • any physical control or restraint has been used.

 

The information recorded will include:

  • name of pupil;
  • date, time and place of incident;
  • a brief description of the incident and actions taken.

 

The Serious Incident Log/Report will be completed as soon as possible after the incident, normally prior to staff going off duty and be signed by all staff involved and the Headteacher.

 

In addition, specific details of the use of ‘reasonable force’ will be recorded on Form RF1 which will include:

  • how the incident developed;
  • attempts made to calm the situation;
  • names of any staff or pupils who witnessed the incident;
  • the outcome of the incident including any injuries sustained, by any pupil or member of staff;
  • any damage to property which has resulted;
  • how parents have been informed;
  • after investigation, a summary of the actions taken.

 

Parents/carers are informed of the incident, when and where it took place, why it was decided that force had to be used, the strategies used to try and avoid having to use force, what force was used, whether there were any injuries and what follow-up action(support and/or disciplinary)was being taken in relation to their child.

 

The requirement is to notify each parent/carer (where parents do not reside together) and in the instance where the child is the subject of a Care Order School must inform the Children’s Services Department. Parents/carers should not be given a copy of the Incident Form.

 

Staff may find it helpful to seek advice from a senior colleague or representative of their professional association/union when compiling a report. They should also keep a copy of the report.

 

After the review of the incident, copies of Form RF1 will be placed in the pupil's file and in the School's Safeguarding File within the School Incident Section.

 

A Health and Safety Accident/Incident Form (HS1) will be completed and returned to the Authority.

 

Where staff have been involved in an incident involving ‘reasonable force’ they should have access to counselling and support. Within the School, this will be made available through the Headteacher. Staff may also contact the Directorate Stress line and/or the County Council's Welfare and Counselling Section.

 

Action after an Incident

The Headteacher will ensure that each incident is reviewed and investigated further as required. If further action is required in relation to a member of staff or a pupil, this will be pursued using the appropriate procedure. The member of staff will be kept informed of any action taken and in the case of any action concerning a member of staff, he/she will be advised to seek advice from his/her professional association/ union.

 

Complaints

The availability of a clear policy about ‘reasonable force’ and early involvement of parents/carers should reduce the likelihood of complaints but may not eliminate them. Any complaints about staff will be dealt with under the School's Complaints’ Procedure.

The Chair of Governors will be informed of complaints but other governors will not be involved as a complaint may require further action on their part.

 

Monitoring of Incidents

Monitoring of incidents will help to ensure that staff are following the correct procedures and will alert the Headteacher to the needs of any pupil(s) whose behaviour can only be contained by the use of ‘reasonable force’.

 

 

Review date: April 2018

 

 

Every child, every day, to learn, to laugh to love a pray

 


  • Benjamin Hargreaves C.E. Primary School Voluntary Aided,
  • Barnfield Street, Accrington,
  • Lancashire BB5 2AQ
  • | Phone: 01254 232130