Teachers’ new weapon: Physical force

By politics.co.uk staff

Teachers are to be given the freedom to physically restrain pupils to keep school pupils in check, ministers are expected to announce.

The move is the latest in a series of steps by the new coalition government to reduce centralised interference in the running of Britain’s schools.

The government is adopting a straightforward approach to improving discipline within Britain’s schools.

Teachers will be allowed to search pupils for a wider range of items, including MP3 players and pornography, and guidance will give them the leeway to physically remove pupils from a classroom and confine them within a room.

“The whole package is about shifting the balance in schools back towards teachers and creating safe classrooms,” schools minister Nick Gibb told the Telegraph newspaper.

“By shifting rights back to teachers it will ultimately benefit all pupils.”

Mr Gibb’s pursuit of regulations inhibiting heads and teachers from improving behaviour i the classroom has not won teachers over, however.

Chris Keates, the NASUWT teachers’ union general secretary, warned the measure would be “meaningless” if schools did not incorporate them into their behaviour policies.

“This tension between national policy and local implementation all too often deprives teachers of access to provisions they need to enable them to work effectively,” she warned.

Further legislation introducing further steps to deal with disorder is set to be introduced soon. The NASUWT hopes this will include a measure to provide anonymity for teachers facing allegations from pupils up to the point of charge.