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Education and Inspections Act 2006

Section 165: Power of members of staff of further education institutions to use force

652.This section inserts new section 85C into the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 and extends the power to use reasonable force to members of staff at institutions within the further education sector, in order to prevent a student at the institution from committing an offence, causing personal injury, damaging property or doing something that prejudices discipline at the institution.

653.Subsection (1) of the inserted section 85C 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 the property of any person (including the student himself); and to prevent anything which prejudices the maintenance of good order and discipline at the institution. Thus, for example, reasonable force (such as leading by the arm) might be used to enforce an instruction for a student to leave a class room (in circumstances where any of paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (1) apply).

654.Subsection (2) provides that the power may be exercised only when both the member of staff and the student are on the premises of the institution or in other situations where the member of staff has lawful control or charge over the student involved (for example on a field trip).

655.Subsection (3) makes it clear that subsection (1) does not legitimise corporal punishment.

656.Subsection (4) has the effect that the power provided by subsection (1) does not remove any power that members of staff may have in addition to the powers conferred by the section. These include the common law rights of self-defence.

657.Subsection (5) contains a definition of “member of staff” for the purposes of the section.

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