What force is 'reasonable'?
'Reasonable force' covers a broad range of actions, used by most teachers at some point in their career, which involve a degree of physical contact with pupils.
Force is considered reasonable when:
- It is in proportion to the consequences it’s intended to prevent
- The level and duration are the minimum necessary to achieve the desired result
Force is usually used either to control or restrain pupils.
Using force to control pupils includes:
- Passive physical contact, such as standing between pupils or blocking a pupil's path
- Active physical contact, such as leading a pupil by the arm out of a classroom
Restraint is typically used in more extreme circumstances, such as when 2 pupils are fighting and refuse to separate. This might include:
- Holding a pupil back physically
- Bringing a pupil under control
Staff should try to avoid acting in a way that might cause injury, but in extreme cases this may not always be possible.