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Last reviewed on 5 February 2021
Ref: 12997
School types: All · School phases: All

It's good practice to log the use of reasonable force against pupils. Find guidance on how to do this, and see examples of template record sheets from schools and a local authority.

It's good practice

It's not a requirement for most schools, but you should still consider how best to record 'serious incidents' involving the use of force.

This is recommended in the Department for Education's (DfE's) guidance on the use of reasonable force (see page 7). 

Requirements in residential schools

In boarding schools, you must keep a record of the use of reasonable force (see appendix 2 of the national minimum standards).

In residential special schools, you must legibly record the use of reasonable force within 24 hours of the incident (see standard 12.6 of the national minimum standards).

How to record incidents

How to write the report

Make the record as soon as possible after the event, and within 24 hours, setting out a 'full picture' of what happened.

If more than one member of staff was involved, they should create individual reports rather than collaborate on one.

Keep the language used factual and free of judgement. 

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