Positive handling policy: examples

See examples of policies on positive handling, physical restraint and the use of reasonable force, from primary, secondary and special schools to help you write or update your own. Find policies with template positive handling plans and incident reporting forms.

Last reviewed on 12 February 2024See updates
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 41638
  1. Primary school policies
  2. Secondary school policies
  3. Special school policies

Understand when and how staff can make physical interventions with pupils by reading our guidance on how to use reasonable force. Read on in this article for examples of specific policies on positive handling and physical restraint.

There is no requirement for a specific policy – you can also include the power to use reasonable force in your behaviour policy.

Primary school policies

Maintained school in Wandsworth

St Mary's CofE Primary School's positive handling and physical intervention policy includes:

  • When physical intervention can be used
  • Dos and don'ts when using positive handling
  • Recording incidents
  • A template incident report form (page 9) and positive handling plan (page 12)

Community school in Blackpool

Layton Primary School has a control and restraint policy which includes:

  • Definitions
  • Staff who are authorised to use physical contact
  • Strategies for dealing with challenging behaviour
  • Action to take after an incident
  • Monitoring of incidents

Academy in City of Bristol

Headley Park Primary School explains in its positive handling policy:

  • The different types of touch and when they should be used
  • Examples of guides, escorts and restraints that staff can use
  • A list of Team Teach positive handling trained staff

Secondary school policies

Academy in Essex

Chelmer Valley High School has a physical intervention policy that covers:

  • Physical intervention and the law
  • Recording physical interventions
  • Searching students
  • Guidance for staff on the use of restraint

Academy in Halton

The Grange School's policy on the use of reasonable force explains the rationale behind the policy and covers:

  • The definition of reasonable force
  • Who may use reasonable force and when
  • How to communicate with parents/carers and pupils about the use of reasonable force
  • How to report the use of reasonable force

Voluntary aided school in Barnet

Finchley Catholic High School has a physical restraint policy (scroll to the end of the page) which includes:

  • Implementing physical intervention
  • Recording physical intervention
  • Searching students
  • When you can use reasonable force

Special school policies

Community special school in West Sussex

Herons Dale School's positive handling policy explains that the aim of positive handling is to maintain a safe environment for pupils and staff. 

The policy covers:

  • Government advice
  • Staff training
  • Recording when physical restraint has taken place
  • Pupil complaints 

It also explains that complaints about the use of force will be investigated by the headteacher or deputy headteacher. 

Independent special school in Kensington and Chelsea

Snowflake School has a positive handling policy that covers:

  • How to effectively carry out positive handling including the use of space and words
  • How to record and report positive handling incidents
  • That the head or assistant head will review each incident further as required

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