Searching pupils and confiscation
Make sure you understand the rules on when you can search pupils, what you should do with any items found and the important safeguarding considerations of pupil searches.
- Prioritise safeguarding
- Be vigilant of bias
- Any staff member can search a pupil with their consent
- Certain staff can search a pupil without their consent
- Rules on screening pupils
- Know how to carry out searches
- You can confiscate prohibited items
- How to handle searching electronic devices
- Keep records of searches, confiscations and next steps
- Reporting searches to parents
You have a duty of care to all of the pupils in your school. This means that you should balance:
- The need to safeguard all pupils by confiscating harmful, illegal, or disruptive items
- The safeguarding needs and wellbeing of pupils suspected of possessing these items
Act in accordance with pupils' rights and 'best interests'
Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) sets out the statutory duty of all staff to make sure that they make decisions in the best interests of the child. This applies to decisions to search pupils and confiscate items.
Have read your school policies on child protection, behaviour, and staff code of conduct Have read section 1 of KCSIE Know how to make referrals to children’s social care Know how to identify signs of abuse and neglect, and about behaviours linked to issues that can put children in danger