Teachers’ union NASUWT cool on new classroom powers

New legal powers for teachers to restrain and discipline rowdy pupils should be used only as a “last resort”, teachers’ union NASUWT warned today.

Under the Education and Inspections Act 2006, which came into force yesterday, school staff will be able to discipline pupils in a measure intended to challenge the confrontational attitudes epitomised by comic Catherine Tate’s classroom creation, Lauren.

The act’s other measures include extending the scope of parenting orders and contracts, and improving provision for excluded pupils, with parents taking responsibility for excluded pupils in the first five days of their exclusion.

Chris Keates, general secretary of NASUWT, which is the largest teachers’ union, said: “Seeking to give more confidence to staff to restrain pupils, should it be necessary, is well intentioned but NASUWT will continue to advise members that such action remains a last resort only to be used when their own or others’ personal safety is at risk.”

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