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3.8 Staff should be able to punish unacceptably poor behaviour immediately in the way that they think most appropriate, using their professional judgement and understanding of the child concerned. This should include being able to issue an immediate detention to take place on the same day. So we will legislate to abolish the requirement to give 24 hours’ notice for detentions.
3.9 Teachers have been given powers to use force or physical restraint where necessary. They should feel able to remove disruptive children from the classroom, or indeed prevent them from leaving a room where that is necessary to maintain order. But many teachers fear the rules are not strong enough to support them. And in almost half of schools surveyed in 2006, over-cautious ‘no-touch’ policies have been put in place43. To ensure teachers feel confident in the exercise of their powers, we will strengthen the rules. We will issue a short, clear, robust guide on teachers’ powers to use reasonable force and we will give schools greater discretion to decide on the most appropriate approach to monitoring the exercise of these powers.
3.10 We will strengthen the powers that teachers have to search for and confiscate items which may be dangerous or cause harm. Teachers already have powers to search for alcohol, knives and other weapons, controlled drugs and stolen property. This will be extended to include pornography, tobacco, and fireworks. We will legislate through the forthcoming Education Bill to give teachers a more general power to search for any item which they reasonably believe is going to be used to cause harm to others or to break a law so that, for example, teachers can search for items such as phones or cameras which they believe are going to be used in this way.
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