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Education and Inspections Act 2006

Section 93: Power of members of staff to use force

465.This section enables a member of staff to use reasonable force to prevent a pupil from committing an offence, causing personal injury, damaging property or doing something that prejudices discipline at the school.

466.The section re-enacts section 550A of the 1996 Act with minor changes.

467.Subsection (1) enables a member of staff to use reasonable force in certain defined circumstances: to prevent an offence or the continuation of one; to prevent personal injury or damage to property; and to prevent anything which prejudices the maintenance of good order and discipline at the school. Thus, for example, reasonable force (such as leading by the arm) might be used to enforce an instruction for a pupil to leave a class room (in circumstances where any of paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (1) apply).

468.Subsection (2) specifies that the power to use force extends to members of staff at any school at which the pupil is receiving education (this allows for situations where, for example, a pupil is receiving education at a school other than the school which he normally attends).

469.Subsection (3) restricts the use of this power to when both the member of staff and the pupil are on school premises or in other situations where the member of staff has lawful control or charge of the pupil involved (for example on an educational visit).

470.Subsection (4) makes it clear that subsection (1) does not legitimise corporal punishment.

471.Subsection (5) has the effect that the power provided by subsection (1) does not remove any powers that heads and school staff may have in addition to the powers conferred by the section. These include common law rights of self-defence.

472.Subsection (6) specifies that an “offence” covers behaviour by younger pupils that would be an offence if they had attained the age of criminal responsibility.

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