Positive Handling Policy


This policy should be read in conjunction with the School Behaviour Policy. At the Link School we constantly strive to create a calm environment that minimises the risk of incidents arising that might require the use of force.


All pupils who attend the Link School have a Pupil Passport or Vulnerable Placement Panel referral information, completed by the host school transferring which outlines the nature of their behaviour. All key staff are made aware of this information on point of admission. As part of the admissions/induction visit to the Link School parents/carers and pupils are made aware of the occasions where physical intervention maybe necessary, so everyone is aware of their responsibilities. The Link School retains the right to use reasonable force without parental consent.  All staff use a range of de-escalation strategies as a preventative measure to physical intervention. Physical intervention will be used as a last resort. For the full range of de-escalation/rewards/consequences see School Behaviour Policy.


Key points around care and safety of all children and staff:

  • Children attending the Provision will always be managed with care and support, to enable them to access learning safely and to keep others safe too.
  • During any time that a child’s behaviour interrupts their own learning or that of others then staff will make a professional judgement as to how to manage the situation.
  • A clear and effective behaviour management system is in place which clearly explains the process (see Behaviour Policy)
  • All children are taught and are expected to adhere to the rules, boundaries and rewards and consequences.
  • When a child’s behaviour escalates staff will follow procedures from the policy and the guidance for positive handling/restraint, for which all staff access training.
  •  De-escalation techniques will be put into action prior to handling, unless there is a danger to others then a quicker response will be implemented to keep everyone safe.
  •  At times a child may require moving to a safer area until they can calm and start to regulate their disruptive/dangerous actions. The child will be monitored at all times and incidents recorded appropriately.
  • Any response to extreme behaviour should be reasonable and proportionate.


The Headteacher and Management Committee authorises all school staff to use reasonable force, provided staff have made the judgement that they are acting in the pupil’s best interests and it is reasonable and proportionate. Colleagues should be aware that the use of force cannot be used as a punishment.

The decision on whether or not to physically intervene is down to the professional judgement of the staff member concerned, and should always depend on the individual circumstances. These risks need to be balanced against the risks of taking other courses of action, including taking no action at all. Risks associated with applying restraint, or deciding not to so include causing physical injury, causing a flight response, psychological trauma, distress and emotional disturbance to the child and staff.

You can read our full Positive Handling Policy by downloading the PDF below:

  Positive Handling Policy – PDF



Link School Springwell Dene
Swindon Road, Springwell, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear  SR3 4EE

Tel: 0191 561 5777
Email: caroline.granton@schools.sunderland.gov.uk

Link School Pallion
Waverley Terrace, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear SR4 6TA

Tel: 0191 561 4777
Email: anita.blakeman@schools.sunderland.gov.uk