Behaviour Policy

 

Introduction

This behaviour /positive handling policy has been prepared as a result of the review of the existing Positive Handling Policy in line with ‘Use of reasonable force Guidance’ Advice for headteachers, staff and governing bodies (July 2013) The responsible person for the implementation of the policy is the Headteacher. This policy will be reviewed by September 2018 by the Headteacher, the schools Teach Tutors, a Principal Team Teach Tutor and the Governing Body.

The policy has been developed in response to The Education and Inspections Act 2006 section 93 which reinforces supercedes and replaces previous guidance. It also takes cognisance of joint guidance issued by the DfES and DOH, and follows the guidance for ‘The Use of Reasonable Force to Control or Restrain Pupils’.

The policy should be read in conjunction with other school policies and guidance relating to interaction between adults and pupils. The policy has been prepared for the support of all teaching and support staff who come into contact with pupils and for volunteers working within the school to explain the school's arrangements for care and control. Its contents are available to parents and pupils.

This policy takes into account the Equality Act (2010) which highlights actions and behaviours which are unlawful such as: direct / indirect discrimination, failing to make reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils or staff, harassment related to a protected characteristic, victimisation.

 

Objectives

Good personal and professional relationships between staff and pupils are vital to ensure good order in our school. This ensures the well-being and safety of all pupils and staff in school. It is acknowledged that in exceptional circumstances, staff may need to take action in situations where the use of reasonable, proportionate and necessary force may be required. Norfolk Park School acknowledges that physical techniques are only a very small part of a whole setting approach to behaviour management.

Every effort will be made to ensure that all staff in this school:

Clearly understand this policy and their responsibilities in the context of their duty of care in taking appropriate measures where use of force is necessary and
Are provided with appropriate training to deal with these difficult situations.

Minimising the need to use force

At Norfolk Park School we constantly strive to create a calm environment that minimises the risk of incidents arising that might require the use of force. In addition to this, pupils who present with challenging behaviour have an individual My Plan (Appendix 2). Students who have issues relating to sensory dysfunction or other conditions that may result in increased anxiety levels, and therefore an increase in the likelihood of challenging behaviour, may have individualised support or programmes to help them to manage this. The school uses varied approaches to help pupils to learn about feelings and managing conflict, where this is appropriate to their level of development (inline with the Equality Act (2010). The school curriculum and ethos promote independence, choice and inclusion and pupils are given maximum opportunity for personal growth and emotional wellbeing.

All staff are trained in skills to help them to defuse situations before behaviour becomes challenging and how to de-escalate incidents should they arise.

Reasonable force will only be used when the risks involved in doing so are outweighed by the risks involved in not using force.

 

Implications of the policy.

The Education and Inspections Act 2006 stipulates that reasonable force may be used to prevent a pupil from doing, or continuing to do any of the following:

  • self – injuring
  • causing injury to others
  • committing a criminal offence
  • engaging in any behaviour prejudicial to maintaining good order and discipline at the school or among any of its pupils, whether the behaviour occurs in a classroom during a teaching session or elsewhere within school (this includes authorised out-of-school activities).

As teaching and non-teaching staff have a ‘Duty of Care’ towards their pupils, they could be liable for a claim of negligence if they fail to follow the guidance within this policy. The use of Team Teach techniques is one of our control methods for reducing risks presented by children’s challenging behaviour. Pupils’ My Plans are Safe Systems of Work under Health and Safety Regulations (1974). These plans should be followed and implemented by all members of staff.

The application of any form of physical control inevitably carries an attached risk of unintended harm and this places staff and the school at risk of potential litigation.

The use of force can only be justified according to the circumstances described in this policy. Staff, therefore, have a responsibility to follow this policy and to seek alternative strategies wherever possible in order to prevent the need for physical intervention. Staff need to be aware that they are responsible for:

  • assessing risks (dynamic risk assessment) related to individual circumstances which may arise in the course of their day-to-day duties and
  • making judgements about when the use of force is necessary and the degree of force which may be regarded as necessary to manage a situation.

Staff need to be aware that they are required to justify their decisions in writing through the recording and reporting procedures outlined later in this document.

The Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 effective from September 2007, gives schools powers to screen or search pupils for weapons. At Norfolk Park School it is extremely unlikely that pupils would conceal weapons and therefore staff have not received training in weapons disarmament. Staff will not be requested to undertake searches. As the power to search should only be used where it is judged to be safe, if the School decides that a search may be necessary then the police would be called.

Definitions of Positive Handling.

Positive Handling describes a broad spectrum of risk reduction strategies. Positive handling is a holistic approach involving policy, guidance, management of the environment, and deployment of staff. It also involves personal behaviour, diversion, diffusion, and de-escalation. My Plans are a plan for the ‘positive management of pupils’ challenging behaviour. They are based on a risk assessment and identify positive prevention strategies and how a pupil may need to be supported in a crisis. (See Appendix 2)

1. Physical Contact

Situations in which proper physical contact occurs between staff and pupils, e.g., in the care of pupils and in order to support their access to a broad and balanced curriculum. It would seem reasonable that children do require opportunities for close contact such as cuddles/hugs and as long as this is within public view, sensitively carried out and age/person-appropriate the Governors would fully support this approach.

2. Physical Intervention (PI)

This may be used to divert a pupil from a destructive or disruptive action, for example guiding or leading a pupil by the arm or shoulder where the pupil is compliant.

This technique cannot be emphasised enough and in the hands of a skilful practitioner many pupils can be deflected from a potentially volatile situation into a less confrontational situation i.e. it may be possible to “defuse” a situation by a timely intervention.

3. Physical Control/Restraint/Restrictive Physical Intervention (RPI)

This will involve the use of reasonable force when there is an immediate risk to pupils, staff or property. All such incidents should be recorded on the Incident/Accident Form (See Appendix 3) and entered into the Bound and Numbered Record of Incidents Requiring Physical Intervention (see Appendix 2), both available in the Head's office. If anyone is injured an accident report (in the Head’s office) should also be completed. Records of incidents should be given to the Behaviour Coordinator as soon as possible, and by the end of the school day at the latest. The Behaviour Coordinator will monitor the forms and then pass to the Head Teacher for signing.

The level of compliance from the pupil determines whether or not the interaction is an intervention or a control/restraint/RPI. Restraint is defined by Team Teach as the positive application of force by staff, in order to overcome rigorous resistance, completely directing, deciding and controlling a person’s free movement.

 

Seclusion, Time Out and Withdrawal

Seclusion: where an adult or child is forced to spend time alone against their will. (This is not a strategy that Norfolk Park School use or have the power to use unless in an emergency*.

Time out: This involves restricting the service user’s access to positive reinforcements as part of the behavioural programme in a room or area which they may freely leave. It is a specific behaviour management technique and does not necessarily literally mean time spent out of the class/group, but rather refers to a withdrawal of attention and/or things they find rewarding (it could be as simple as turning away from a child who is attention seeking, or positioning a child away from the class/group). This withdrawal of attention could also be achieved by sending a pupil to another class/group or a quiet area.

Withdrawal: which involves removing the person from a situation which causes anxiety or distress to a location where they can be continuously observed and supported until they are ready to resume their usual activities. This can mean removing a child from the class/group to allow them time to calm down or to prevent a situation from escalating. They may need time away from staff and pupils (either on their own or in another class/group) in order to break the cycle/pattern of their behaviour or to reduce their level of anxiety/distress. This “quiet time” could be time in the playground, a quiet room.

 

Planned and emergency physical interventions

A planned intervention is one that is described/outlined in the pupil’s Behaviour Management Plan. This should cover most interventions, as possible scenarios will be identified and planned for when the Behaviour Management Plan is drawn up. These interventions may include the use of Team Teach techniques.

An emergency physical intervention may be necessary if a situation arises that was not foreseen or is uncharacteristic of the pupil. Members of staff retain their duty of care to pupils and any response, even in an emergency, should be proportionate to the circumstances. Staff should use the minimum force necessary to prevent injury and maintain safety, consistent with the training that they have received. Following any such incident, a Behaviour Management Plan will be devised (or the existing plan updated) to support effective responses to any such situations which may arise in the future.

Wherever possible assistance will be sought from another member of staff. Positive Handling at Norfolk Park School (defined as the full range of strategies used to manage behaviour including where necessary physical intervention) is seen as a proactive response to meet individual pupil needs and any such measures will be most effective in the context of the overall ethos of the school, the way that staff exercise their responsibilities and the range of behaviour management strategies used.

 

Underpinning values

Everyone attending or working in this school has a right to:

  • recognition of their unique identity;
  • be treated with respect and dignity;
  • learn and work in a safe environment;
  • be protected from harm, violence, assault and acts of verbal abuse.

Pupils attending this school and their parents have a right to:

  • individual consideration of pupil needs by the staff who have responsibility for their care and protection;
  • expect staff to undertake their duties and responsibilities in accordance with the school's policies;
  • be informed about school rules, relevant policies and the expected conduct of all pupils and staff working in school;
  • expect Behaviour Management Plans to be designed to achieve outcomes that reflect the best interests of the child whose behaviour is of immediate concern and others affected by the behaviour requiring intervention;
  • be informed about the school's complaints procedure.

The school will ensure that pupils understand the need for and respond to clearly defined limits, which govern behaviour in the school.

Prevention

Primary Prevention

This is achieved by:-

  • The deployment of appropriate staffing numbers;
  • The deployment of appropriately trained and competent staff;
  • Avoiding situations and triggers known to provoke challenging behaviour;
  • Creating opportunities for choice and achievement;
  • Developing staff expertise through a programme of Continuous Professional Development;
  • Exploring pupils’ preferences relating to the way/s in which they are managed.

Secondary Prevention

This involves the recognition of the early stages of a behavioural sequence that is likely to develop into violence or aggression and employing ‘diffusion’ techniques to avert any further escalation.

Where there is clear documented evidence that particular sequences of behaviour escalate rapidly into violence, the use of a restrictive physical intervention (RPI) at an early stage in the sequence may, potentially, be justified if it is clear that:

  • Primary prevention has not been effective, and
  • The risks associated with NOT using a RPI are greater than the risks of using a RPI, and
  • Other appropriate methods, which do not involve RPI, have been tried without success.

Deciding whether to use Restrictive Physical Interventions and Risk Assessment

Both challenging behaviour and restrictive physical interventions will involve a risk – to both staff and pupils. A risk assessment aims to balance these risks. The aim of the individual pupil’s My Plan and of this policy is to reduce the risks associated with pupils’ challenging behaviour, the risks that are associated with the behaviour itself and the risk of managing that behaviour. The risks of employing an intervention should be lower than the risks of not doing so. Pupils whose challenging behaviour may pose a risk to staff or other pupils will be the subject of a Risk Assessment and will have a My Plan drawn up as a result of this.

All staff authorised to use physical intervention with pupils receive training in Team Teach techniques and receive information about the risk to pupils of positional asphyxia. There are very clear protocols delivered during training to minimise the possibility of this and to ensure that appropriate safeguards are implemented.

 

Health and Safety of Staff

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act, employees have a responsibility to report any circumstances which give rise to an increased risk to their Health and Safety.

Staff who have, or acquire, permanently or temporarily, any medical condition that may impact on their ability to carry out pupils’ My Plans have a duty to report these to the Headteacher immediately as there may be an impact on their own safety and that of colleagues and/or pupils.

 

Using Force

No legal definition of reasonable force exists however for the purpose of this policy and the implementation of it in Norfolk Park School:

  • Positive Handling uses the minimum degree of force necessary for the shortest period of time to prevent a pupil harming himself, herself, others or property.
  • The scale and nature of any physical intervention should be proportionate to both the behaviour of the individual to be controlled, and the nature of the harm they might cause.
  • Staff would be expected to follow the pupil's My Plan in the first instance to manage an incident/challenging behaviour
  • If this was unsuccessful and the situation continues to escalate staff would then be expected to employ other Team Teach techniques that they have been trained.
  • Only if all of the above have been tried and are unsuccessful should staff even consider any other form of restraint. The overriding consideration should still be the reasonableness and proportionality of the force used.

All the techniques used take account of a young person’s;

  • age
  • gender
  • level of physical, emotional and intellectual development
  • special needs
  • social context

They also provide a gradual, graded system of response. Where behavioural records and/or risk assessment identifies a need for a planned approach, My Plans are written for individual children and where possible, these will be designed through multi agency collaboration and, with parental consent, shared with other agencies/services supporting the child to facilitate consistency of approach so far as is possible.

 

Staff Training

Training is available for all staff at Norfolk Park School, for most staff this is enhanced by Team Teach training in the use of positive handling and it is the responsibility of the Headteacher to ensure this training is kept up to date. No member of staff will be expected to use Team Teach techniques without appropriate training. Prior to the provision of training, guidance will be given on action to be taken. Arrangements will be made clear as part of the induction of staff and training will be provided as part of on-going staff development.

Norfolk Park School is committed to using Team Teach. Team Teach Ltd is a training provider that is accredited through the British Institute of Learning Difficulties (BILD) and adheres to their Code of Practice on physical intervention. Norfolk Park School acknowledges that physical techniques are only a part of a whole setting approach to behaviour management.

All staff including administrative staff, technical staff and Governors receive the 12-hour Basic Course in Team Teach although not all staff will be authorised to use the physical techniques taught but should still use the principles of the training.

 

Support Following Incidents

Physical techniques are not used in isolation and the school is committed to ensuring that as a result of incidents learning opportunities are created for children that allow them to ‘own’ and take responsibility for their behaviour at a level appropriate to their stage of development.

“Whilst the physical techniques are intended to reduce risk, there is always risk when two or more people engage to use force to protect, release or restrain. Team Teach techniques seek to avoid injury to the service user, but it is possible that bruising or scratching may occur accidentally, and these are not to be seen necessarily as a failure of professional technique, but a regrettable and infrequent side effect of ensuring that the service user remains safe” (George Matthews – Team Teach Ltd Director).

In addition procedures are in place to ensure that appropriate support is provided for staff and that following an incident pupil/staff relationships are rebuilt and repaired to ensure that a positive learning environment is maintained.

 

Visits out of school

In line with the Equality Act (2010) Our equal opportunities policy states that all pupils should be included in all curriculum activities. However, Health and Safety remains a priority and staff should carry out risk assessments for each pupil prior to each visit into the community. Due consideration should be given to the following:

  • Is the pupil able to cope with the demands of the proposed visit?
  • Are there sufficient, suitably trained staff - particularly if there should be an incident?
  • How will you contact school to get extra help if necessary and how will you get back?
  • Have you remembered to take some of the “Public Concern Cards” to give to any onlookers to avoid having to explain what is happening during an incident

 

Authorised staff

The Headteacher is responsible for making clear to whom such authorisation has been given, in what circumstances and settings they may use force and for what duration of time this authorisation will last. The Headteacher will ensure that those authorised are aware of, and understand, what the authorisation entails.

Those whom the Headteacher has not authorised will be told what steps to take in the case of an incident where control or restraint is needed. All staff will receive training in Managing Behaviour as part of their Induction Training.

All members of staff are reminded that all pupils who have challenging behaviour will have a ‘My Plan’, which should be strictly adhered to. These plans are reviewed every half term and all staff are encouraged to make a contribution to the plans. A pupil’s My Plan constitutes a Safe System of Work under Health and Safety Regulations. If any member of staff believes that a ‘My Plan’ is no longer effective/suitable for any reason they should discuss this with the Team Leader before making any adjustments to it.

 

Strategies for dealing with challenging behaviour

Staff utilise consistent positive strategies to encourage acceptable behaviour and good order.

Every effort will be made to resolve conflicts positively and without harm to pupils or staff, property, buildings or the environment. Where unacceptable behaviour threatens good order and discipline and provokes intervention, some or all of the following approaches should be taken according to the circumstances of the incident and in association with the Education and Inspections Act 2006 Section 93

  • Verbal acknowledgement of unacceptable behaviour with request for the pupil to refrain; (this includes negotiation, care and concern)
  • Further verbal reprimand stating:
    • that this is the second request for compliance;
    • an explanation of why observed behaviour is unacceptable;
    • an explanation of what will happen if the unacceptable behaviour continues.
  • Warning of intention to intervene physically and that this will cease when the pupil complies, if possible summon assistance from other staff.
  • Physical intervention. Reasonable force being used to prevent a child harming him or herself, others or property.

 

Types of Incident

The incidents described in The Education and Inspections Act 2006 The Use of Reasonable Force to Control and Restrain Pupils fall into three broad categories: -

  • Where action is necessary in self-defence or because there is an imminent risk of injury.
  • Where there is a developing risk of injury, or significant damage to property.
  • Where a pupil is behaving in a way that is compromising good order or discipline.

Examples of situations which fall within one of the first two categories, are:

  • A pupil attacks a member of staff, or another pupil;
  • Pupils are fighting;
  • A pupil is engaged in, or is on the verge of committing, deliberate damage or vandalism to property;
  • A pupil is causing, or at risk of causing, injury or damage by accident, by rough play, or by misuse of dangerous materials or objects;
  • A pupil is running in a corridor or on a stairway in a way which he or she might have or cause an accident likely to injure him or herself or others;
  • A pupil absconds from a class or tries to leave school (NB this will only apply if a pupil could be at risk if not kept in the classroom or at school).

Examples of situations which fall into the third category are:

  • A pupil persistently refuses to obey an order to leave a classroom.
  • A pupil is behaving in a way that is seriously disrupting a lesson.

 

Acceptable measures of physical intervention (PI)

The use of Team Teach PI techniques can only be deemed reasonable if:

  • it is warranted by the particular circumstances of the incident;
  • it is delivered in accordance with the seriousness of the incident and the consequences which it is desired to prevent;
  • it is carried out as the minimum needed to achieve the desired result;
  • the age, understanding and gender of the pupil are taken into account;
  • it is likely to achieve the desired result.

Wherever possible assistance should be sought from another member of staff before intervening.

 

This form of physical intervention may involve staff:

  • escorting a pupil;
  • shepherding a pupil away;
  • supportively holding a pupil to keep them or others safe until they have regained control of themselves or can be supported to an area to calm down.

In some circumstances, trained staff may need to use more restrictive holds - Team Teach RPI techniques. Acceptable methods are taught as part of the training procedures made available to appropriate staff. Any such measures will be most effective in the context of the overall positive and caring ethos of the school, the way in which staff exercise their responsibilities and the behaviour management strategies used. Staff may need to rotate roles and have a break if the incident is prolonged (over 10 minutes) – you should follow the pupil’s My Plan; at all times acting in the best interests of the child.

  • It is acknowledged that with some disengagement techniques pupils may encounter some minimal discomfort when appropriate release techniques are used. However, this is very brief, transient and poses less of a risk than the behaviour they are employed in response to, eg biting.
  • Key staff within the school First Aid trained. Any of these may be called upon to implement First Aid or seek further guidance in the event of an injury or physical distress arising as a result of a physical intervention

 

Recording incidents

Where physical control or restraint has been used a record of the incident will be kept. This record should be made in the school’s ‘Record of Incidents Requiring Physical Intervention Book’ (statutory for all special school provision). The ‘Record of Incidents Requiring Physical Intervention Book’ is kept in the schools main office.

Appropriate documentation will be completed as soon as possible after the incident, (within 24 hours) normally prior to staff going off duty and be signed by all staff involved and SLT.

All incidents recorded or entered into the ‘Record of Incidents Requiring Physical Intervention Book’ (see appendix 1), will be reported to parents. This may be via a telephone call or a letter home, depending on the nature of the incident and the procedure agreed with parents when their child’s My Plan is devised/reviewed.

  • The behaviour of some individuals presents a hazard to themselves and others. In settings which cater for individuals who exhibit hazardous behaviours, records serve a number of purposes:
  • They can be an invaluable aid to risk assessment and risk reduction by communicating information about known hazards.
  • They can provide evidence of poor and preferred practice to help managers target training.
  • They can direct managers towards improving the quality of the guidance they provide for staff.
  • They can expose malpractice and protect staff against false allegations.
  • Employers who fail to establish effective recording and reporting systems to protect children, young people, vulnerable adults and staff are in breach of their statutory duties under Health and Safety legislation.

MY Plans

My Pans are required for all children who may need require the use of physical controls, under The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, these plans should be developed by a multidisciplinary team, parents and ‘where appropriate’ the child. My Plans should be a stored on workspace and a copy printed off and kept in the class positive handling folder. Record of incidents requiring physical Intervention should be used to develop individual pupils ‘My Plans’ (Appendix 2).

  1. Incident

  2. Positive listening and learning

  3. Record of Incidents Requiring Physical Intervention Book’

  4. and Incident/Accident Form completed

  5. Completed reports to be given to Behaviour Coordinator for Monitoring

  6. Behaviour Coordinator to pass ‘Record of Incidents Requiring Physical Intervention Book’

  7. and incident/accident form to Head Teacher for approval

  8. Contact Parents / Carers and record call in book with log number of incident record

 

Monitoring incidents

Whenever a member of staff has occasion to use reasonable force, this will always be recorded and documented following agreed procedures. Monitoring of incidents will help to ensure that staff are following the correct procedures and will alert the Behaviour Coordinator and the Head Teacher to the needs of any pupil(s) whose behaviour may require the use of reasonable force.

Monitoring of incidents will take place on a regular basis (at least half-termly) and the results used to inform planning to meet individual pupil and school needs. The Headteacher will present an annual summary of incidents that have involved the use of force to the Governing Body Health and Safety Committee.

Action after an incident

At Norfolk Park School we have a debrief procedure which should be utilised if staff need to debrief after an incident. Where staff have been involved in an incident involving reasonable force they should have access to counselling and support. Within the school, this will be made available/supported through the Team Leader, Behaviour Coordinator or Headteacher.

The Headteacher will ensure that each incident is reviewed and investigated further as required. If further action is required in relation to a member of staff or a pupil, this will be pursued through the appropriate procedure:

  • Review of My Plan (see appendix 2)
  • Child Protection Procedure (this may involve investigations by Police and/or Social Services)
  • Staff or Pupil Disciplinary Procedure
  • Exclusions Procedure; in the case of violence or assault against a member of staff this may be considered
  • The member of staff will be kept informed of any action taken.
    • In the case of any action concerning a member of staff, he/she will be advised to seek advice from his/her professional association/union.

In some circumstances it may be appropriate to provide additional training or professional support for particular staff in relation to the management of incidents where although the criteria for the application of the above procedures were not met, it is decided that the incident could have been managed more effectively.

Support Following Incidents

Section 7 of ‘Holding Safely’ (SIRCC 2005) looks in detail at learning from evens and examines ways in which staff can best use the experience of physically restraining children and young people to help shape future practice and policy. Norfolk Park School believes that “Listening and Learning” is vital to the ethos of the school. Staff within the school use a wide range of skills and communication aid to ensure that “Listening and Learning” takes place following incidents.

Any member of staff at the school involved in or witnessing a serious incident involving the use of RPI may require additional support following the incident.

Staff should ensure that they are fully recovered from an incident before resuming their duties and colleagues are encouraged to seek and offer support where it is deemed necessary.

Pupils who may be distressed by events can be offered the following support:

  • Quiet time taking part in a calming activity
  • Quiet time away from the incident/trigger
  • Resuming their usual routine/previous activity as soon as possible, especially for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Complaints

The availability of a clear policy about reasonable force and early involvement of parents should reduce the likelihood of complaints but may not eliminate them.

Where the nature of any complaint made by a pupil, parent or other person in relation to the use of RPI within the school indicates that an allegation of mishandling by a member of staff is being made which complies with the criteria contained in CSA guidance), the matter will be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer) in accordance with LA procedures.

In such circumstances the investigation of the complaint/allegation and any resulting action in respect of child protection, disciplinary or other procedures will be carried out in accordance with the guidance received from the LA.

Whistle Blowing

Whilst the training in TEAM TEACH provided to all staff, encourages the use of help protocols and reflective practice, it is acknowledged that under some circumstances, physical intervention can be misapplied. Staff are reminded that part of their duty of care to pupils includes the requirement to report any such matters which cause them concern in relation to pupil management and welfare. Child Protection concerns should be raised with the CPLO or DCPLO. Concerns about staff should be raised with the Headteacher who may consult the Team Teach Tutor, or with the Chair of Governors in order to allow concerns to be addressed and practice improved.

 

THE TEAM APPROACH

 ~Working together to safeguard children and staff~

 INFORMATION FOR PARENTS

 Here at The Norfolk Park Special School we aim to provide a learning environment that is free from fear and safe from harm. We have policies and procedures followed by all our staff to try and secure the best learning and development for our children.

We are an inclusive school that tries to meet the needs of all our children regardless of their level of support need and therefore, from time to time, some pupils may present with challenging behaviour. Our health and safety commitment to pupils and staff means that we will carry out a risk assessment to foresee and reduce the risks presented occasionally by their behaviour. This may also mean that there are times when their behaviour requires staff physical support to ensure the pupils’ own safety, the safety of other pupils and staff, or that property is not seriously damaged. This can require the use of physical interventions.

‘Team Teach’ is the approach adopted by us at the Norfolk Park Community Special School to manage challenging and aggressive behaviour. Many of our teaching and non-teaching staff have been trained in the use of this approach and the Headteacher keeps a list of those staff authorised to use Team Teach and they receive regular refresher training from instructors.

The basic philosophy of the approach is as follows:

  • 95% or more of all incidents should be managed without recourse to physical intervention,
  • it is a flexible framework of responses stressing a holistic approach,
  • de-escalation of situations is a priority (e.g. using communication skills, humour, distraction etc),
  • gradual and graded positive handling techniques are based on providing the maximum amount of care control and therapeutic support for the shortest possible time necessary to ensure the safety of all concerned.

All incidents of positive handling are reported, recorded, monitored and evaluated.

Any injury sustained during an incident involving positive handling is reported to the Parent/Carer, Headteacher and the Local Authority (LA). After receipt of the information the LA will decide if they wish to further investigate the referral.

As a parent or carer you should be assured that all staff are committed to providing a safe and productive learning environment for all. Staff will ensure that any physical intervention will happen wherever possible as a last resort.

Both the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and Department of Health (DOH) issue clear guidelines for the use of physical intervention and the use of reasonable force. The school has copies of these guidelines which are available to you upon request.

If you have any questions concerning the use of Physical interventions or the Team Teach Approach please do not hesitate to contact the school. More information regarding the Team-Teach Approach can be found via the internet by visiting www.team-teach.co.uk.