Use of reasonable force in schools

Guidance about the use of physical restraint in schools for governing bodies, headteachers and school staff.

Applies to England


Use of reasonable force in schools


This is for school leaders and school staff.

It applies to:

  • local-authority-maintained schools
  • academies and free schools
  • pupil referral units
  • non-maintained special schools
  • independent schools
  • sixth-form colleges

This guidance provides clarification on the use of force:

  • to help school staff feel more confident about using reasonable force when they feel it is necessary
  • to make clear the responsibilities of school leaders and governing bodies in respect of this power

Updates to this page

Published 17 July 2013

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