UK teachers to be allowed to use ‘reasonable force’ to discipline misbehaving students

A crackdown on bad behavior in schools in the United Kingdom may allow teachers to use “reasonable force” on students, leaked  Department of Education (DfE) document shows. 

Under stricter new rules, ministers could give teachers the power to confiscate misbehaving students’ mobile phones and give them immediate (same-day) detentions.

This comes just days after it was revealed that children as young as four were among more than 1000 kids caught with knives at school last year.

School kids carrying murderous blades threatened to stab teachers as well as fellow students.

Headteachers could now receive the powers needed to expel and suspend children displaying disruptive behavior, according to the leaked document seen by The Guardian.

“This government backs headteachers to improve behavior and will support them to create safe and disciplined school environments,” the document states.


“We will back heads to use powers to promote good behaviour including sanctions and rewards; using reasonable force; to search and confiscate items from pupils (including mobile phones); impose same-day detentions; suspend and expel pupils; ban mobile phones.”

The United Kingdom banned corporal punishment in state schools in 1986, and in private schools in 1998.

However, the 2016 DfE paper says teachers are permitted to use reasonable force to prevent students from committing an offense, harming themselves or damaging any kind of property, and maintain discipline and order in the classroom.

A week ago, 5 News reported that 1144 knife offenses were carried out in English and Welsh schools in the previous year.


Knife crime more than doubled over the last five years, among the 36 forces in England and Wales that provided comparable data, climbing from 372 in 2014 to 968 2018.

An 11-year-old boy in Manchester, who swapped a highlighter nib with a blade, told another student: “Listen to me or else I’ll stab you.”

David Simmon, an ex-teacher, said he was threatened by a six-year-old waving around a knife while at work in a school in north London.

“He was threatening other staff members and saying that he was going to stab them so I’ve gone over trying to calm this child down.”

“He’s then said he’s going to stab me and kill me,” Simon said.

The proposition leaked in the DfE paper will be backed by a £3.5 billion funding announcement and additional plans to raise teachers’ basic salaries to £30,000 by the year 2022.

What are your thoughts on this new government proposal? Let us know in the comment section. 

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