Skip to content

Use of reasonable force and searching for weapons

The content of this page is not being updated. Get up to date information on Safe and effective intervention: guidance for schools and local authorities at

Related Links

Tell us if you want any of the documents on this page in an alternative format.
This guidance is intended to support schools, local authorities and their partners in providing a safe environment for children and young people.

It is split into 2 sections.

Use of reasonable force

The power to use reasonable force was introduced by the Education Act 1996 (external link). Section 1 advises on the use reasonable force, including:

  • helping school staff understand what the law means for them in practical terms
  • reducing the risk that force may be used inappropriately
  • providing advice on good practice.

Searching for weapons

Schools were granted the power to search pupils for weapons without their consent in by the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 (external link). Section 2 provides information on screening and searching pupils for weapons, including scope of powers.