New discipline guidance (England)

Department for Education's new guidance for teachers and Voice's response


Voice press release:  11 July 2011 (19 July and 19 October update/guidance below)

Voice comments on discipline guidance

Commenting on the guidance issued today (11 July 2011), Philip Parkin, General Secretary of Voice: the union for education professionals, said:  

“We welcome the guidance, both to improve pupil behaviour and to protect staff.  

“However, there must be no uncertainty. If teachers are going to have the confidence to use these powers they must know that there is collective clear understanding of what the guidance means. 

“There must be consistency on interpreting and implementing the guidance, within schools – between teachers and management – and between schools and local authorities. 

“It is crucial that staff, pupils and parents know what the powers are, and that they are interpreted and used in the same away to avoid accusations being made against staff or litigation threatened by parents.  

“It is also essential that funded training is provided on physical restraint and that the training is consistent in terms of who provides it and what it involves. 

“Searches of pupils should be undertaken by trained and willing staff – ideally security staff.  The guidance says that ‘Headteachers and staff authorised by the headteacher have the power to search pupils or their possessions, without consent’ but it must be absolutely clear that staff cannot be required to undertake searches.   

“Widening the scope of searches could potentially lead to staff being put at risk of confrontation or even assault or injury.”

Further information/guidance:

New guidance for teachers to help improve discipline in schools

The Department for Education published guidance for teachers on how they should deal with bad behaviour. This guidance will be used by schools from the start of the new academic year this coming September.

The guidance will be revised again if the Education Bill is passed.

The Guidance includes:

  • Use of reasonable force
  • Advice on behaviour and discipline
  • Guidance for governing bodies on behaviour and discipline
  • Ensuring good behaviour in schools

DfE: Simple behaviour checklist to help teachers maintain discipline in school” (19 October 2011)

Getting the simple things right: Charlie Taylor's behaviour checklists (19 October 2011) (pdf)

The requirement to record and report to parents significant incidents of use of force  



Voice Press Office

General Secretary Philip Parkin

Solicitor David Brierley

Tel: 01332 372 337  


Press office

01332 373 337