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Use of reasonable force and searching for weapons

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This document covers two elements: revised guidance on the use of force (replacing Circular 37/98); and powers to search for weapons contained in the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 (commenced in October 2010).

This document represents guidance on 2 aspects intended to support schools, local authorities and their partners in providing a safe environment for children and young people.

The power to search pupils for weapons without their consent were introduced in October 2010, whilst the power to use reasonable force are largely the same as those previously in place, introduced in the Education Act 1996. The 2 sections of the guidance are as follows:

Section 1

Revised guidance on the use of force to control or restrain pupils. This is more comprehensive guidance replacing that currently contained in Welsh Office Circular 37/98. The guidance has two main parts, one relevant for all schools and pupils and one relating to pupils with severe behavioural difficulties, which will be particularly relevant for special schools.

Section 2

Guidance relating to the new power for schools to be able to search pupils for weapons without their consent, contained in the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006. This is a new power rather than a duty and therefore does not create any new requirement on schools that choose not to use the power.