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Teachers can use physical restraint, says Ed Balls

Schools should not insist on a no-contact policy – physical force can be used to stop disruptive behaviour.

Teachers must not be afraid to use physical force to break up playground fights and should march disruptive pupils out of the classroom, the schools secretary said today.

At least one member of staff in every school should have expert training in restraint techniques, according to new government guidance.

Teachers have said they fear legal action from parents if they try to control badly behaved students physically, and say children have told them: “You can’t touch me or my mum will sue you.”

But Balls said it was a myth that schools had to insist on “no contact” with pupils, and staff should not face retribution if they intervened when children were out of control.

“A no-contact policy is not required by law, and is not good leadership,” he told the annual conference of the Nasuwt teachers’ union.

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