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Behaviour and discipline: what you can and can't do
Get to grips with the rules on sanctions and disciplining poor behaviour, including around detentions, isolation and confiscating prohibited items.
All punishments must be 'lawful'
For a punishment to be considered lawful, it must:
- Not breach any other legislation (for example, in respect of disability, special educational needs (SEN), race and other equalities and human rights)
- Be reasonable in all the circumstances, and proportionate – you must take into account the pupil's age, any SEN or disability they have, and any religious requirements affecting them
- Be awarded by a paid member of school staff or a member of staff authorised by the headteacher (the headteacher may extend this power to adult volunteers)
- Be awarded on your school premises or while the pupil is under the charge of a member of staff
Note: corporal punishment is illegal in all circumstances.
These requirements are outlined on page 7 of the DfE's advice on behaviour and discipline in schools.
In addition to meeting the criteria above, there are rules for some punishments on what your
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