Teachers warned about handling violent pupils

A teaching union has criticised an LEA- backed training scheme showing staff how to physically restrain violent pupils, saying it could make teachers even more vulnerable to litigation.Birmingham LEA has developed a policy for schools dealing with when and how pupils’ behaviour should be managed by physical intervention while keeping within their legal remit.A method it endorses is a ‘positive handling’ technique developed by a former head teacher.But Chris Keates, general secretary of NASUWT, said she disapproved of routinely teaching restraining techniques to teachers because it lulled them into a false sense of security about the danger of touching pupils.She spoke following a filmed discussion between leading Birmingham headteachers on methods of controlling outbreaks of violent behaviour at school.It was also attended by George Matthews, director of Team Teach, and whose ‘holding’ handling technique is one of those endorsed by Birmingham LEA in a policy called Care and Control.Its backbone is the 1997 Education Act, which provides teachers with powers to use “reasonable force” to prevent a child committing injury to another, damage to property, or disruption.Chrissie Garrett, assistant director of learning and culture (inclusion support) at Birmingham LEA, said the policy was formulated against a backdrop of increasing litigation against teachers and incidents in schools where the level of violence was more severe…

IC Birmingham

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