They said ..

11th April 2008 at 01:00
'No touching rule leaves school staff at risk of leagal action if they restrain unruly children.' Evening Standard

We say ...

The Conservatives announced they would get rid of policies that some schools have introduced to stop staff having physical contact with pupils.

This is a sensible proposal. The schools introduced the policies for good reasons - mainly to protect staff from allegations of abuse - but they have left teachers unable to intervene where necessary.

Unfortunately, some newspapers suggested there was a national rule banning teachers touching pupils.

While teachers are advised against gratuitous physical contact, there are situations in which they are legally entitled to restrain a pupil. These include preventing them from injuring others, damaging property, injuring themselves and the altogether more ambiguous "causing disruption".

Only minimum force should be used, and a back-covering report of the incident needs to be filed. But, with these precautions taken, there should be no legal redress.

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