Here at FEZA we are committed to the safety and well-being of all pupils and staff.

All staff within the setting, aim to help children take responsibility for their own behaviour. As such this policy should be read in conjunction with the ‘Safeguarding Policy’.

This Physical Contact and Restraint policy applies throughout the Nursery, Primary, and Secondary school. However, it is not intended to imply that staff should no longer touch children.  There are times when it is appropriate to use positive touch.  Particularly in Nursery the positive use of touch is a normal part of human interaction.

Touch might be appropriate in a range of situations including:

  • giving guidance to children (such as how to hold a paintbrush or when climbing)
  • providing emotional support (such as placing an arm around a distressed child)
  • physical care (such as first aid or toileting)

Staff must exercise appropriate care and use of common sense when using touch. There are some children for whom touch would be inappropriate such as those with a history of physical or sexual abuse, or those from certain cultural groups. In this instance staff must use their judgement and knowledge of each individual child.


However, there are times when children display negative behaviour that may result in them hurting themselves or others or committing a criminal act.  Whilst we hope that incidents can be resolved without the use of physical intervention, the SMT (School Management Team), school board and staff understand that there are occasionally situations in which the use of physical restraint may be necessary. In this instance FEZA schools only permits physical restraint by reasonable and non-injurious means. Physical restraint is used only when immediately necessary and for the minimum time required to:


  • Prevent injury to self or others
  • Prevent a criminal act
  • Prevent very serious damage to property


  1. Definition

For the purpose of this policy, physical restraint is the positive application of force in order to protect/prevent a child from causing injury to him/herself or others or seriously damaging property. This could be:

  • 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.


As outlined below, staff is encouraged to avoid the use of physical restraint if at all possible. However, FEZA staff follow the guidance outlined that ‘Force may be used to prevent pupils committing a criminal offence, injuring themselves or others or damaging property’.

  1. Examples of situations where physical restraint may be appropriate:
  • remove disruptive children from the classroom where they have refused to follow an instruction to do so;
  • prevent a pupil behaving in a way that disrupts a school event or a school trip or visit;
  • prevent a pupil leaving the classroom where allowing the pupil to leave would risk their safety or lead to behaviour that disrupts the behaviour of others;
  • prevent a pupil from attacking a member of staff or another pupil, or to stop a fight in the playground; and
  • restrain a pupil at risk of harming themselves through physical outbursts


However, it is important to remember that under no circumstances should force be used as a punishment.

  1. Procedures

Guidance during an Incident

Staff should not hesitate to act in an emergency provided they follow these guidelines. However, if physical restraint was employed this should be considered justifiable by a wider audience.

In any situation where physical restraint is necessary, the minimum reasonable force should be used to calm down the situation. Help should always be sought from colleagues; other pupils should never be involved in restraint.

The pupil should be approached calmly but firmly. Where possible, explain what will happen if the behaviour continues. Communicate with the pupil throughout the incident; it should be made clear that the physical restraint will stop as soon as it is no longer necessary. A calm approach is needed and it is very important that a teacher never appears to have lost his/her temper, or that they are acting out of anger or frustration or to punish the pupil.


The method of restraint used must use the minimum force for the minimum time and must observe the following:

Restraint must NOT:

  • involve hitting the pupil
  • involve deliberately inflicting pain on the pupil
  • restrict the pupil’s breathing
  • involve contact with sexually sensitive areas
  • involve locking the pupil in a room

During any incident the person restraining should:

  • offer verbal reassurance to the pupil
  • cause the minimum level of restriction of movement
  • reduce the danger of any accidental injury
  • cease the restraint if there are any signs of physical distress in the pupil such as sudden change in colour, difficulty breathing or vomiting
  1. Some Dos and Don’ts


  • be aware of any feelings of anger
  • get help
  • continue to talk to the pupil in a calm way
  • ensure a free passage of air through airways
  • provide a soft surface if possible
  • be aware of any accessories worn by you or the pupil that could cause injury
  • hold the pupil’s arms by his/her sides
  • monitor the pupil’s respiration, circulation and state of consciousness


  • try to manage on your own
  • stop talking, even if the pupil does not reply
  • straddle the pupil
  • push their arms up their back
  • touch the pupil near the throat or head
  • put pressure on joints or on arterial pressure points (inside of upper arm, groin, neck)
  • use facedown holds


  1. Recording Incidents

It is required that a written report is kept when physical restraint is used.  The member of staff concerned must inform the relevant Deputy Principal immediately following an incident and provide a written report as soon as possible afterwards.


The report should include:

  • the name(s) and age of the pupil(s) involved
  • when and where the incident took place
  • the name(s) of any other staff or pupils who witnessed the incident
  • the reason that physical restraint was necessary
  • The degree of physical restraint used
  • how the incident began and progressed
  • the pupil’s / pupils’ response and the outcome of the incident
  • details of any injury suffered by the pupil / another pupil / member of staff, and any damage to property


The teacher will inform second master concerned who will later inform parents on the same day via email or face to face – or as soon as practically possible – that physical restraint has been necessary, and give a report of the situation. The report to parents should include:

  • when and where the incident took place
  • the reason that physical restraint was necessary
  • The degree of physical restraint used
  • how the incident began and progressed


Details of any injury suffered by the pupil / another pupil / member of staff, and any damage to property (names of other students should not be included).


In the Nursery and Primary school if a child has displayed behaviour that has meant that physical restraint was necessary the parents will be called by the class teacher at the request of the relevant Second Master and the child/ children will be sent home.

All records of physical restraint are then kept with the responsible Second Master.


Complaints about physical restraint:

  • All complaints about the use of physical restraint should be thoroughly, speedily and appropriately investigated.
  • When a complaint is made the liability is on the person making the complaint to prove that his/her allegations are true – it is not for the member of staff to show that he/she has acted reasonably. Assuming that the staff member has followed the school policy.
  • Suspension will not automatically follow a complaint. A person must not be suspended automatically, or without careful thought.
  • If a decision is taken to suspend a teacher, the school should ensure that the teacher has access to a named contact who can provide legal support.