Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School

Approved by the Governing Body: Autumn 2022
Date of next review: Autumn 2024
“The use of Positive Handling to manage
physically challenging behaviour.”
The policy has been developed in response to DfE non statutory guidance, ‘The Use of Reasonable
Force”. July 2013. It also takes cognisance of DfES, DOH Guidance for Restrictive Physical
Interventions, ‘Guidance on the use of restrictive intervention for children who display Extreme
Behaviour in association with Learning Disability and/or Autistic Spectrum Disorder’ (July 2002) and
“Reducing the need for Restraint and Restrictive Intervention” June 2019. As well as paying due
regard to “Behaviour in schools Advice for headteachers and school staff “September 2022,
“Keeping Children Safe in Education “2022. Additionally, the policy follows the policies and guidance
of Liverpool Local Authority Children’s Services in relation to Safeguarding.
This policy should be read in conjunction with other school policies relating to interaction between
adults and children. e.g. Child Protection, Health and Safety, Behaviour and relational.
This policy has been prepared for the support of all teaching and support staff who come into
contact with children and for volunteers working within the school to explain the school’s
arrangements for care and control. Policy contents are available to parents and carers. A statement
about the school’s Behaviour Policy/Code of Conduct is made to parents and carers in the
parent/carers booklet.
Purpose of policy
Good personal and professional relationships between staff and children are vital to ensure good
order in the school. It is recognised that the majority of children in the school respond positively to
the discipline and control practiced by staff. This ensures the wellbeing and safety of all children and
staff in the school. It is also acknowledged that in exceptional circumstances staff may need to take
action in situations where the use of reasonable force may be required. Our Lady Immaculate
Catholic Primary School acknowledges that physical techniques are only part of a whole setting
approach to behaviour management.
Every effort will be made to ensure that all staff in the school:
Clearly understand this policy and their responsibilities in the context of their duty of care in
taking appropriate measures where reasonable force is necessary and
Are provided with appropriate training to deal with these difficult situations.
Implications of the policy
Section 93 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 enables school staff to use such force as is
reasonable in the circumstances to prevent a child from doing, or continuing to do, any of the
1 | P a g e
Approved by the Governing Body: Autumn 2022
Date of next review: Autumn 2024
• Committing any offense (or, for a child under the age of criminal responsibility what would
be an offense for an older child)
• Causing personal injury to, or damage to the property of, any person (including the child
• Prejudicing the maintenance of good order and discipline at the school or among any
children receiving education at the school, whether during a teaching session or otherwise.
(Section 93 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 makes it clear that force may be used
to prevent behaviour that prejudices the maintenance of school discipline regardless of
whether that behaviour would also constitute a criminal offense.)
Who may use physical control?
All school staff members have a legal power to use reasonable force in the situations described
above however members of staff should not put themselves at risk. An individual would not be seen
as failing in their duty of care by not using force to prevent injury, if doing so threatened their own
• See Appendix 1 Protocols for lunchtime
• See Appendix 2 Protocols for supply staff
Individual members of staff cannot be required or directed to use physical restraint. However, as
teaching and non-teaching staff work in ‘loco parentis’ and should always operate with an
appropriate ‘Duty of Care’, should the school’s policy not be adhered to by individuals, it is not
unforeseeable that claims of care could be levied against them.
The application 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 this policy and to seek alternative strategies wherever possible in order to
prevent the need for physical intervention.
Reasonable force will only be used as a last resort when all other behaviour management
strategies have failed or when children, staff or property are at risk.
Definitions of Positive Handling
No legal definition of reasonable force within a school’s context exists, however, for the purpose of
this policy and the implementation of it in Our Lady Immaculate Primary School:
‘Reasonable Force uses the minimum degree of force necessary for the shortest period of time to
prevent a child harming himself, herself, others or property’.
The scale and nature of any physical intervention at Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School
“must be proportionate to both the behaviour of the individual to be controlled and the nature of
the harm they might cause’. (DfES/DOH Guidance for Restrictive Physical Interventions, July 2003).
This policy does more than simply outline the use of physical intervention at Our Lady Immaculate
Catholic Primary School. This policy aims to provide a transparent overview of how we as a staff
team use physical contact to both care for and, where appropriate control children within the
school. Working within the school’s mission statement and our code of conduct, our Care and
Control policy describes the acceptable physical interaction between staff and children on a daily
2 | P a g e
Approved by the Governing Body: Autumn 2022
Date of next review: Autumn 2024
basis. Based on the principles of moving from least intrusive to more restrictive holding, our policy
has divided interaction into three definable areas.
Physical Contact
Situations in which physical interaction occurs between staff and children to either care for children
who may be distressed or have severe and profound learning disabilities, or in subject areas such as
physical education in order to promote inclusive learning opportunities and deliver Early Years
Foundation Stage/National Curriculum. In addition, staff will also use positive touch to comfort
children and as part of the PSHCE/Nurture curriculum in order to teach them safeguarding
behaviours which are more appropriate ways of seeking attention. Where possible staff will always
endeavour to use “safe hugs”, the “friendly hold” and “helpful hugs”.
Physical Intervention/control
This may be used to divert a child from destructive or disruptive action, for example guiding or
leading a child by the arm or shoulder with little or no force. The techniques implemented here will
include “turn, gather, guide” and the “small child hold”. The important factor within these situations
is the compliance of the child. For example, staff are guided by the level of compliance or resistance
of the child.
Restrictive Physical Intervention
This will involve the use of reasonable force when there is an immediate risk to children, staff or
property. It is important to note that the use of “reasonable force” should be seen as a last resort
(emphasis TINA – There Is No Alternative) and with the best interests of the child as paramount.
All such incidents are to be recorded and given to the leadership team for storage within a child’s
The following techniques are accredited by Team Teach and authorised for staff to use by the
Headteacher. Whenever possible the following techniques will be used:
• Positive Handling
• CALM (Communicate, Awareness and Assessment, Listen and Look) Body Language
• Be Aware of 6 Signs of Crisis
• De-escalation Skills
• Help Scripts
• Caring Cs
• Small Child Hold.
As indicated, the level of compliance from the child determines whether or not the interaction is an
intervention or a restrictive physical intervention (staff need to be clear of the difference). If staff are
in doubt then the incident should be recorded on the school use of reasonable force form (green
form). Leadership team will follow the recording of the incident up with individual members of staff
where necessary.
Underpinning values
Everyone attending or working at Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School has a right to:
3 | P a g e
Approved by the Governing Body: Autumn 2022
Date of next review: Autumn 2024
• be recognised for their unique identity
• be treated with respect and dignity
• learn and work in a safe environment
• be protected from harm, violence, assault and acts of verbal abuse.
Children attending Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary school and their parents/carers have a
right to:
• individual consideration of child’s needs by the staff who have a responsibility of their care
and protection;
• expect staff to undertake their duties and responsibilities in accordance with the schools
• be informed about the school procedures, relevant policies and the expected code of
conduct of all children and staff working in Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School
• be informed about the school’s complaints procedure.
Authorised staff
At Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School, all staff in charge of children are authorised to use
reasonable force within the context of DfE non statutory guidance ‘The Use of Reasonable Force”
April 2012. Reference paragraph 2.
The school provides the opportunity for all staff to be trained and the headteacher retains a list of all
those trained staff. The list is reviewed on an annual basis (or more frequently if the context
requires it).
Authorisation is not given to volunteers or parents/carers.
Supply staff and support services will not appear on the ‘authorised persons list’ unless they can
offer valid certification in the Team Teach Approach and are familiar with the school’s policy. The
Headteacher will be accountable for their actions whilst in the school. All Behaviour Support Plans
and Positive Handling Plans will be made available to all staff working directly with the children
concerned. Protocols and expectations around these plans will be made clear to supply/support
See Appendix 2 – Protocols for supply staff and support services
The Headteacher is responsible for making clear to whom such authorisation has been given, in what
circumstances and settings they may use force and for what duration of time this authorisation will
last. The Headteacher will ensure that those authorised are aware of and understand, what the
authorisation entails.
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.
Training for all staff will be made available and is the responsibility of the Headteacher prior to any
practical training theoretical aspects of effective behaviour management will have been delivered
4 | P a g e
Approved by the Governing Body: Autumn 2022
Date of next review: Autumn 2024
and arrangements will be made clear as part of the induction of staff and training will be provided as
part of on-going continued professional development for staff.
Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School is committed to implementing the Team Teach
Approach, “working together to safeguard people and services”. Further information in relation to
Team Teach can be found at www.team-teach.co.uk. Team Teach is accredited by The Institute of
Conflict Management.
Restrictive physical techniques are not used in isolation and Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary
School is committed to ensuring that as a result of incidents learning opportunities are created for
children that allow them to “own” and take responsibility for their behaviour. (The process of
Reflect Repair and Rebuild).
In addition, procedures will be put in place to ensure that appropriate support is provided for staff
and that following an incident children/staff relationships are rebuilt and repaired to ensure that a
positive learning environment is maintained.
All the techniques used take account of a young person’s:
• age,
• gender
• level of physical, emotional, and intellectual development
• special needs
• social context
They should also provide a gradual system of response.
Where appropriate Behaviour Support Plans are written for individual children and where possible,
these will be designed through multi agency collaboration.
Risk Assessments are completed against each child when physical restraint may need to be used in
the context of the identified target behaviour(s) and environments in which they occur. The
assessment should identify the benefits and the risks associated with the strategies being proposed.
Strategies for dealing with challenging behaviour
As endorsed in the school’s Behaviour and relational Policy, staff utilise consistent positive strategies
to encourage acceptable behaviour and good order.
Every effort will be made to resolve conflicts positively and without harm to children 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 child to refrain;
(this includes negotiation, care and concern)
• Further verbal reprimand stating: That this is a repeated request for compliance;
▪ An explanation of why observed behaviour is unacceptable;
▪ An explanation of what will happen if the unacceptable behaviour continues.
5 | P a g e
Approved by the Governing Body: Autumn 2022
Date of next review: Autumn 2024
• A statement of intent that physical intervention may well be used alongside a reminder that
holding will cease when the child shows compliance. If possible, summon assistance from
other colleagues.
• Restrictive physical intervention/ Reasonable force being used to prevent a child harming
him or herself, others or property.
Training in restrictive physical intervention given to staff will include sections on the current legal
framework, background, theory and rationale behind the Team Teach approach as well as an
understanding of personal space, body language and a personal safety curriculum before any
physical techniques are taught.
Team Teach techniques seek to avoid injury to children, but it is possible that bruising or scratching
may occur accidentally, and these are not to be seen necessarily as failure of professional technique,
but as a regrettable and infrequent side effect of ensuring that the child remains safe.
Types of Incident
Examples of situations that may call for judgements of this kind include:
• A child attacks a member of staff or another child;
• Children are fighting;
• A child is engaged in, or is on the verge of committing, deliberate damage or vandalism to
• A child is causing, or at risk of causing, injury or damage by accident, by rough play, or by
misuse of dangerous materials or objects;
• A child is running in a corridor or on a stairway in a way which he or she might have or cause
an accident likely to injure him or herself or others;
• A child absconds from a room or tries to leave the school (NB this will only apply if a child
could be at risk if not kept in the room or in the school).
• A child persistently refuses to follow instruction to leave a situation of danger.
• A child is behaving in a way that is seriously disrupting an activity.
It is important to note that the use of reasonable force will only be applied at this school as a last
resort, when all other alternatives have been exhausted and that any force used will be
reasonable, proportionate and absolutely necessary.
Acceptable measure of physical intervention
See Appendix 3 Agreed Positive Strategies used by Our Lady Immaculate Primary School
• Strategies for ‘de-escalation’ or ‘diffusion’ which can avert the need for a physical
intervention – i.e. Calming Script, Help Script, Help Protocol.
• Guide child away by elbow using ‘Caring C’.
• Turn, Gather, Guide.
• Refer to Behaviour and relational Policy.
• Calm Stance.
• Help Script for children as in appendix.
6 | P a g e
Approved by the Governing Body: Autumn 2022
Date of next review: Autumn 2024
• ‘Time Out which involves restricting the child’s access to all positive reinforcements as part
of the behavioural programmed in a room or area.
(Section 3.13 DfES/DOH, July 2002)
(Time out is supported by the use of individual behaviour support plans. Time out may be
self-directed or suggested by staff and is used alongside other behaviour change
interventions. “Time out and seclusion” by Sharon Paley, BILD 2009.)
• ‘Withdrawal’ which involves removing the child from a situation which causes anxiety or
distress to a location where they can be continuously observed and supported until they are
ready to resume their usual activities. (Section 3.13 DfES/DOH, July 2002)
• Seclusion is never used at Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School.
• First aid procedures to be employed by those responsible for implementation in the event of
an injury or physical distress arising as a result of a physical intervention.
• Wherever possible assistance will be sought from another member of staff.
Positive handling at Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary is seen as a proactive response to meet
individual child needs and any such measures will be most effective in the context of the overall
ethos of the school, the way that staff exercise their responsibilities and the behaviour management
strategies used.
In accordance with “Keeping Children safe in Education” 2020 and as part of our duties under the
Equality Act 2010 we will devise Positive Behaviour Support Plans and Positive Handling Plans to
ensure that we plan for positive and proactive behaviour support.
A specific script used by staff at Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School in order to support
each other is the ‘Help Protocol’. The following provides an aide memoir of this script
Help Protocol
“Hello Mr/Mrs (name of staff)”, where appropriate the child should also be engaged by the use of
their name. “Would you like some help?”
The response from the member of staff should always be – “Yes please”.
“How can I help?” is the question that should then be posed allowing the member of staff originally
involved in the incident to retain control of the situation.
“You can help by…..” enables effective support to be provided for all concerned.
If a situation arises where it is evident that support is required but it is refused the incoming
member of staff will use the phrase “I am available for more help”.
The response should then be “what do you suggest”.
The member of staff then replies “I would like you to……..and I’ll catch up with you later”. The final
statement should always be followed up so as to ensure the professional relationship between
colleagues remains untarnished.
Where physical control or restraint has been used a record of the incident will be kept.
7 | P a g e
Approved by the Governing Body: Autumn 2022
Date of next review: Autumn 2024
• The incident will be logged in the Serious Incident Book
• Everyone involved will complete the UORF Form on the day of the incident
• The forms will be collated by the Team Leader who will pass them to the nominated SLT
member for that Day.
• The Team Leader will carry out a Post Incident Debrief with staff as soon as possible
• The process for Reflect Repair and Rebuild with the child will be recorded and added to the
After the review of the incident, a copy of the details will be placed on the children’s CPOMS file. A
Health and Safety Accident/Incident Form (AC11) will be completed and returned to the Authority in
situations where injury has occurred to either members of staff or children. Where staff have been
involved in an incident involving reasonable force they should have access to on-site counselling and
Action after an incident
The Headteacher/Senior Management Team 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
child, this will be pursued through the appropriate procedure:
• Reflect, Repair and Rebuild process completed with child and staff member
• Review of Behaviour Programme/IEP/PSP/Positive Handling Plan
• Child Protection/Safeguarding Procedure (this may involve investigations by Police and/or
Social Services.
• Staff or Child Disciplinary Procedure.
• Behaviour and relational Policy.
• Exclusions Procedure in the case of violence or assault against a member of staff or other
• The member of staff will be kept informed of any action taken. 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.
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 investigated through the schools Complaints Policy. If necessary, the complaint will be dealt
with by the Staff Disciplinary Procedures and/or Child Protection Safeguarding Procedures and the
schools’ policy for managing allegations against staff.
Monitoring incidents
Whenever a member of staff has occasion to use reasonable force, this will always be recorded and
documented following agreed procedures. Monitoring of incidents will help to ensure that staff are
following the correct procedures and will alert the Headteacher to the needs of any child/ren whose
behaviour may require the use of reasonable force.
Monitoring of incidents will take place on a regular basis and the results used to inform planning to
meet individual children and school needs.
8 | P a g e
Approved by the Governing Body: Autumn 2022
Date of next review: Autumn 2024
To support the Headteacher and school and ensure objectivity the School Improvement Partner/SIP
to the school will be involved with the monitoring process. In addition, at Our Lady Immaculate
Catholic Primary School, the Chair of the Governors is the named representative who supports this
process by undertaking audits of incidents and feeding back findings to the Headteacher and
Governing Body where necessary.
Policy Reviewed – October 2020
Date of next review – October 2022
Protocols for Lunchtime
Untrained lunchtime staff are always accompanied by trained TEAM TEACH staff and as endorsed in
the school’s Behaviour Policy, all staff will use consistent positive strategies to encourage acceptable
behaviour and good order.
If an incident occurs that requires restraint, we expect unauthorised staff to:
▪ Call for additional support from school trained staff using either school walkie-talkie or a
responsible child messenger
▪ Take responsibility for removing the rest of the children while trained staff deal with the
▪ Complete a school serious incident with restraint form after the event before leaving the
school premises for the day.
Protocols for Supply Staff and Support Services
Supply staff and support services will use consistent positive strategies to encourage acceptable
behaviour and good order as endorsed in the schools Behaviour Policy and as stated within
Individual Behaviour Plans and /or Positive Handling Plans.
If an incident occurs that requires restraint, we expect supply staff/support services to:
▪ Call for additional support from school trained staff maybe using a responsible child
▪ Take responsibility for removing the rest of the children while trained staff deal with the
▪ Complete a school serious incident with restraint form after the event before leaving the
school premises for the day.
9 | P a g e
Approved by the Governing Body: Autumn 2022
Date of next review: Autumn 2024
Agreed Core Strategies
State the
The Help Script
Choice Drivers
One Calm Voice
Partially Agree
(“Yes, and…”)
Reflect, Repair,
The Help
Lead into
Personal Space