POSITIVE HANDLING POLICY
Dated Sept 2012
The next date for review of this policy is Sept 2013
1.0 Respect4us recognises that there is a need, reflected in common law, to intervene when there is an obvious risk to safety to its pupils, staff and property.
1.1 We are committed to ensuring that all staff and adults with responsibility for children’s safety and welfare will deal professionally with all incidents involving aggressive or reckless behaviour, and only use positive handling as a last resort in line with best practice. If used at all, it will be in the context of a respectful, supportive relationship with the YP. We will always aim to ensure minimal risk of injury to YP and staff.
1.2 This policy must be read and implemented in conjunction with the company’s behaviour policy and approach to behaviour management.
1.3 Section 93 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 “enables school staff to use force as is reasonable in the circumstances to prevent a pupil from doing or continuing to do any of the following:
(a) committing any offence (or, for a YP under the age of criminal responsibility, what would be an offence for an older YP):
(b) causing personal injury to, or damage to the property of, any person (including the YP
(c) prejudicing the maintenance of good order and discipline or among any YP receiving alternative education at Respect4us, whether during an outdoor session or otherwise.”
We are not contractually obliged to carry out restraint procedures and are not contractually obliged to undertake training in any restraint procedures. This policy applies to all staff who are authorised to use positive handling (see Section 7)
1.4 All staff authorised to positively handle children and young people must be aware that they must not:
• use corporal punishment
• Use pain to gain compliance
• Deprive the person of food or drink
• Humiliate/degrade the child or young person
2.0 Our approach to best practice
2.0 The best practice regarding positive handling outlined below should be considered alongside other relevant policies, specifically those policies involving behaviour, bullying, child protection and health and safety.
2.1 In line with Education and Inspections Act 2006 in the following situations, staff must judge whether or not positive handling would be reasonable or appropriate:
• Risk to the safety of staff, YP or visitors, or
• Where there is a risk of serious damage to property, or
• Where a YP’s behaviour is seriously prejudicial to good order and discipline, or
• Where a YP is committing a criminal offence
This judgement will take into account the circumstances of the incident. All staff should be aware that the use of positive handling in response to a clear or developing danger of injury will always be used to manage behaviour positively to prevent a deterioration of the situation
2.2 Staff will view positive handling of YP as a last resort for the purposes of maintaining a safe environment. If YPs are behaving disruptively or anti-socially, every strategy will be used to manage behaviour positively to prevent a deterioration of the situation.
2.3 If effective, incidents of physical handling of a YP should decrease in severity and frequency. Regular monitoring of incidents will be carried out to check the effectiveness of any such handling within the team/by Directors. Where the frequency or severity of incidents is not reducing, the positive handling plan for the pupil will be reviewed
2.4 Staff will understand the importance of listening to and respecting children to create an environment that is calm and supportive, especially when dealing with YP who may have emotional and behavioural needs, which may increase their aggression.
2.5 All staff will understand the importance of responding to the feelings of the child, which lie beneath the behaviour as well as to the behaviour itself.
3.0 Practice regarding specific incidents:
3.0 All policies and practice regarding the supervision of YP during the school day will be appropriate to the identified needs and behaviours of the pupils, this combined with the Respect4us approach to behaviour should minimise the likelihood of requiring positive handling to an absolute minimum
3.2 The physical action taken will take into consideration the age and competence of
the child and will be the least detrimental alternative
3.1 Staff intervening with children will seek assistance from other members of staff as early as possible, since single-handed intervention increases the risk of injury to both parties and does not provide a witness.
3.2 A member of staff recognising that a situation is escalating to a point demanding positive handling yet feeling unable to carry this out must, as part of their duty of care, clearly tell the YP(s) to stop the behaviour and seek help by any means available.
3.3 Staff who become aware that another member of staff is intervening physically with a YP will have a responsibility to provide a presence and to offer support and assistance should this be required.
3.4 Where possible, staff who have not been involved in the initial confrontation leading up to an incident may be in a better position to intervene or restrain the YP if this proves necessary
3.5 A YP’s behaviour may be adversely affected by the presence of an audience. Wherever possible, the audience will be removed, or if this is not possible, the YP and member(s) of staff will withdraw to a quiet but not completely private, place (eg two members of staff should be present or a door left open so that others are aware of the situation.
3.6 Staff will be aware of the need to tell the pupil being restrained, in a calm and gentle manner, that the reason for the intervention is to keep the YP and others safe. Staff will explain that as soon as the pupil calms down, she/he will be released.
3.7 The force used will be commensurate with the risk prevented.
4.0 Positive Handling
4.0 Examples of situations where positive handling may be appropriate include:
• YP attacks member of staff or another YP
• YPs are fighting
• YPs are engaging in, or on the verge of, committing deliberate damage or vandalism to property
• YP is causing, or at risk of causing injury or damage by accident, by rough play, or by misuse of dangerous materials or objects
• YP absconds from the premises (this only applies if YP could be at risk if not kept on the premises)
5.0 Holds to be avoided
5.0 The following holds should not be used:
• Holding a YP around the neck, or by the collar, or in any other way that might restrict a YP’s ability to breathe
• Slapping, punching or kicking a YP
• Twisting or forcing limbs against a joint
• Tripping a YP
• Holding a YP by the hair or ear
• Holding a YP face down on the ground
6.0 Recording an incident
6.0 All incidents that result in non-routine interventions will be recorded in detail in the incident book with numbered pages
6.1 Contemporaneous record (ie written within twenty four hours of the incident’s occurrence) will be made by the staff member involved in the incident.
6.2 Similarly, contemporaneous notes will also be made by any other members of Staff involved (ie as witnesses or additional providers of support). The notes will be sealed and dated.
6.3 The record will contain the following information:
• The name(s) of staff who used reasonable force
• The name(s) of the YP(s) involved
• When and where the incident took place
• Names of staff and YPs who witnessed the incident
• The reason that force was necessary
• Behaviour of the YP which led up to the incident
• Any attempts to resolve the situation
• The degree of force used
• How it was applied
• How long it was used for
• The YP’s response and the eventual outcome
• Details of any injuries suffered by either staff or YP
• Details of any damage to property
• Details of any medical treatment required (an accident form will be completed, where medical treatment is needed)
• Details of follow-up, including contact with the parents/carers of the YP(s) involved
• Details of follow up involvement of other agencies - police, Social Services
6.4 Pupil witnesses may also be asked to provide a written account if appropriate
6.5 Copy of this entry will be kept on the pupil’s file and retained in line with LA Guidance on keeping educational records
6.6 The school will report any injuries to YP or staff in accordance with HSE Regulations 1995
6.7 YP who are identified as likely to require positive handling as part of their Behaviour management will require a Positive Handling Plan. This is drawn up in response to the risk posed by the YP’s behaviour and is shared with all staff, parents/carers and the YP if appropriate.
7.0 Debriefing Arrangements
7.0 The YP and the member of staff will be checked for any sign of injury after an incident. First aid will be administered to anyone who requires it, or medical treatment obtained.
7.1 The YP will be given time to become calm while staff continue to supervise Him/her. When the YP regains complete composure, a senior member of staff (or her/his nominee) will discuss the incident with the pupil and try to ascertain the reason for its occurrence. The YP will be given the opportunity to explain things from her/his point of view. All necessary steps will be taken to re-establish the relationship between the YP and the member(s) of staff involved in the incident.
In cases where it is not possible to speak to the YP on the same day as the Incident occurred, the debrief will take place as soon as possible after the YP returns to Respect4us.
7.2 All members of staff involved will be allowed a period of debrief and recover from the incident. This may involve access to external support. A Director (or her/his nominee) will provide support to the member(s) of staff involved.
7.3 The Directors will be informed at the earliest possible opportunity of any incidents where positive handling was used. The Director (or her/his nominee) will initiate the recording process if not already underway. (See 6.0) and review each incident to ensure that any necessary lessons are learned.
7.4 See paragraph 10.1 about informing parents.
8.0 Training Needs of Staff
8.0 In cases where it is known that a YP will require positive handling on occasions, respect4us will ensure that appropriate training is provided. Staff involved will identify their training needs in this area.
8.1 Where the company anticipates that positive handling may be required on occasions, advice will be sought from the Norfolk Steps Team.
8.2 Staff trained in positive handling techniques need to update their training on a regular basis and ensure that their training record is kept up to date.
9.0 Authorisation of staff to use positive handling
9.0 We recognise that positive handling will be seldom used and it is a last resort to maintaining a safe environment
9.1 All staff are, by the nature of their roles, authorised to use positive handling as appropriate.
9.2 Best practice will be monitored. Frequent sessions to practice the use of techniques, as well as to disseminate any revised information will be included as part of the company’s normal schedule or pastoral meetings.
9.3 These meetings will be open to all staff who have been authorised to use positive handling techniques
9.4 In the event of a complaint being received by Respect4us in relation to the use of physical force by staff, the matter will be investigated in accordance with local authority procedures.
10.0 Arrangements for Informing Parents
10.1 Parents will be informed of the company policy regarding positive handling in the following ways:
• In their introduction to respect4us parents will be informed that our positive handling policy can be found on our website
• Staff who work with particular children who have learning or physical disabilities (and who have Individual Education Plans, Individual Behaviour Plans and/or Pastoral Support Plans, may need to use specific techniques routinely to manage challenging behaviour. Such arrangements will be discussed with parents/carers in advance on an individual basis. All interventions will be routinely recorded
• All parents will be informed after a non-planned incident where positive handling is used with a child