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Use of force in the classroom

25 July 2010

The government has announced that it will clarify the law on the use of force in the classroom. New guidance will explicitly say that teachers can use force to physically remove disruptive pupils from the class or prevent them from leaving the room to maintain discipline. Head teachers will also be given more powers to search pupils, not only for weapons, but also for drugs, alcohol and mobile phones. Teaching unions have broadly welcomed the proposals. However, teachers will only be able to use reasonable force so the decision on whether physical contact is legal will ultimately remain with the courts, potentially still leaving teachers vulnerable to allegations of assault.

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Mark Blois

Partner and Head of Education

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