What should I do if I have been assaulted by a pupil?
In the unfortunate event you have been physically assaulted by a pupil you will want to know how to proceed at your school. You will most likely feel shaken and may be apprehensive to continue teaching the same pupil, class or to return to teaching.
Your school should have policies and procedures in place to ensure that you can teach safely and not be at risk of assault or intimidation by pupils.
Assaulted by a pupil: what should I do after the incident?
After the incident, your school must take practical steps to remove and suspend the pupil. If injured, you will want to receive treatment from a first aider on site. You may have to visit you GP or a hospital depending on the seriousness of the assault. A medical assessment of any injury should be made as soon as possible. A doctor’s report, or even photographs of the injury, can be important evidence in any legal proceedings.
What happens if I used self-defence during the incident?
You might have been put in the position of having to defend yourself and/or other pupils. You are entitled to use ‘reasonable force’ to defend yourself and/or other pupils.
For more details on the use of ‘reasonable force’ please see the following article on Edapt.
Who should I report to when assaulted by a pupil?
You should inform your headteacher as soon as possible about the details of the incident and ensure a written record of the assault and the circumstances leading up to the assault is taken. It is best to report all injuries, no matter how minor.
The school should keep a record of the incident and ensure that all the facts are of the incident are accurately recorded using pupil and staff member’s testimony if they were witness to the assault.
Under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR), your employer is responsible for reporting the following to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE):
- All accidents to employees resulting in deaths or ‘specified injuries’
- All accidents which result in an employee being off work due to injuries for more than seven days
- All accidents to non-employees which result in them being killed or taken to hospital and which are connected with work
What support should my school provide after being assaulted by a pupil?
Your school should suspend the pupil from the school, pending a prompt assessment of the appropriate disciplinary process and penalties. It should deal with the pupil firmly under the school’s disciplinary system. If you are injured as a result of an assault, your employer may need to report this to the HSE.
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The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
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