school logo.JPG

Sunningdale School

Discipline Policy


This policy is a statement of the aims, principles and strategies for discipline at Sunningdale School. It was developed through a process of consultation with teaching staff. This policy will be reviewed annually.


Our aims for discipline are that all children will:



Reward systems

Good conduct is rewarded in the Compliments File on ISAMS. Especially good conduct is mentioned in assembly on Monday mornings, in the weekly tutorials & evening prayers.

Where poor or unacceptable behaviour is observed, the teacher:


Teachers must not send boys on a run.


Where a member of staff observes behaviour that he/she deems especially good behaviour he/she can award a compliment which are found on the ISAMS. The compliments system promotes Sunningdale’s six qualities; kindness, honesty, courage, self-discipline, resilience & zest for life.


Where a member of staff observes behaviour that he/she deems to be unacceptable he/she can award a complaint which are found on ISAMS.


Tutors play a crucial role in monitoring their tutees behaviour & it is essential that they keep up-to-date with both the compliments and complaints they are given. Both compliments & complaints are emailed to the tutor as soon as they are given and tutors are expected to catch up with their tutee on the same day that either are given. If a boy accrues too many complaints they will make the Depty Headmaster aware. At the end of each week the complaints are tallied and if a boy has three or more to his name he is considered for the No Privileges list (see below) by the Deputy Headmaster. All Compliments are tallied and awarded to the individual House points. Complaints play no role in the House system. Boys with at least one compliment and no complaints from the week before are placed onto The Privilege List.

Persistently Poor Behaviour

If poor behaviour is persistent and the child does not respond to the above, the Head Master

If necessary, the school counsellor or an outside agency may be used: e.g. child psychologist, behavioural therapist, family counsellor.

The school reserves the right to suspend or expel a child whose behaviour is severely disruptive or puts other children at risk. In the event of this being necessary, the Headmaster would call a meeting at the school with the parents to inform them of the decision. If the parents do not agree with the decision they may appeal to the proprietors whose decision will be final.

Disciplinary Framework

The need for a structured disciplinary framework is clear.

The following is an outline of the steps that should be taken in certain cases.






Minor Transgression

Misbehaviour in form

Persistent tardiness

Dealt with by member of staff at the scene, be it in the classroom, on the games field or around the school.

In many cases most minor transgressions should be able to be dealt with by a firm word. If a sanction is deemed necessary it should be issued and the boy should have 24 hours to complete it. The member of staff issuing the sanction must make sure that it is completed. If it is not completed the next step is used. A complaint should be given.


Failure to complete a punishment or more serious incident.

Repeated minor transgression (referred by tutor)

Persistent disobedience

Damage to school property.


Refer to Deputy Head

The member of staff completes an Incident report on ISAMS which is emailed to the Deputy Head & Headmaster. The Deptuy Headmaster will see the boy concerned and decide what action is to be taken. It is at this point that the Deputy Head will consider placing boys on the No Privilege List.

The tutor must be informed so that he / she is aware and so that the records can be kept up to date.


Serious transgression

Rudeness to members of staff.


Refer to Headmaster

The Headmaster will see the boy concerned and decide what action is to be taken. It is likely that if the situation has escalated to this level that the parents may need to be informed. The tutor must, of course be informed.


No Privilege List

The Deputy Head will decide at the end of each week which boys should be placed on the No Privilege list. Boys who receive more than three behavioural are usually placed on it. It is to be understood that this is a serious punishment.

Boys who are on the No Privilege list will do the following for one week:

They will not be allowed to do the following:



The following are forbidden at Sunningdale:


Sunningdale School


This code of conduct applies to every boy in the school. Boys will find that if they stick to this code of conduct they will make the most of their time at Sunningdale and make life and learning more enjoyable for everyone.




Arrangements for Searching Pupils and their Possessions 

General Approach

The School is committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children and we seek to cultivate an environment of mutual respect and treat students and staff fairly and sensitively. In the unusual event of a pupil, or a pupil’s dorm, locker, bag or other repository for possessions, being searched, the School and its agents will take all reasonable steps to maintain the usual high standard of safeguarding. Professional judgement is to be used in all cases: if in any doubt, advice should be sought from a senior member of staff, unless the urgency or another overriding aspect of a situation makes such referral impractical.

There are two fundamental principles:

  1. Act with due care, consideration and sensitivity and remain mindful of the need to respect privacy; particular thought should be given to boarders for whom, during term time, the School is their ‘home’
  2. Remember that the need to protect persons/property from injury/damage and from loss is paramount and that this duty of care can in certain circumstances override all other protocols


At all times a balance should be retained between, on the one hand, common-sense actions rightly taken in respect of ongoing-assessed risk in a real-world case and, on the other, the desirability of following step-by-step written guidelines which, however helpful, stand in isolation of a specific context and cannot embrace every eventuality.  Specifically, there may or may not, in the assessment of such risk in a particular case, be good grounds for the member of staff who is dealing with the matter to deviate from guidelines.  For instance deviation may be warranted, or indispensable, in response to or in pre-emption of immediate or potentially immediate danger to persons/property involved.

Whilst a search may be required for suspected dangerous/illegal items, a search may also be justified for other reasons – for items that are simply not allowed in school, for instance, but which are not necessarily of themselves dangerous (or illegal), or items which are allowed in school but which are not being properly used. 


The same applies to confiscation: such items found in school or on a pupil’s person may be confiscated for a time.  An example may be a mobile phone used when it should not be or in an inappropriate way during school hours.  Any item confiscated, should be kept safe and the details of the confiscation (item, date, time, location, owner, reason, etc) logged.  An indication should be given at the time of confiscation to the pupil by the member of staff who has confiscated an item of when the item is likely to be returned.  The duration of a confiscation should be reasonable and proportionate and, as in all matters, not unduly (or necessarily at all) punitive.  48 hours might be a reference-point for a confiscation period.  Consideration should be given to the possible consequences of keeping the item and the pupil apart (for instance travel safety in the case of a confiscated mobile ‘phone). 

Personal Searches

If a pupil is suspected of carrying an unauthorised item (for example a laser beam pen) a member of staff should ask the pupil, if feasible in the presence of a second adult witness, if the pupil is happy to turn out his/her pockets or bag. Throughout, the pupil should, if possible, be kept under close supervision in case there is an attempt to divest himself surreptitiously of any item.  If the pupil refuses to cooperate, the member of staff should contact an appropriately senior member of staff who should consider if it is appropriate to try to contact the pupil’s parents. As appropriate, and if the parents can be contacted, they should be encouraged to persuade the pupil to agree to the search taking place. If the matter is of major concern and the pupil still refuses to approve of the search, then the Police may be called in to conduct the personal search.

Personal searches, especially forced personal searches, should if at all possible be avoided, though may in extremis be necessary.  For example, all reasonable steps should be taken, where there is a danger, or a risk of danger, to persons or property, to contain that danger/risk.  This might include, in extremis, all or any of the following: physical restraint, forced search (of person and/or of property), and confiscation.  

‘Forced Searches’

Reasonable force may be used in exercising the statutory power to search pupils, without their consent, for weapons and (with effect from September 2010) for alcohol, illegal drugs and stolen property (‘prohibited items’).  At Sunningdale, this search power may be exercised by staff where they have reasonable grounds for suspecting that a pupil has such items.  However, the School’s guidance in this matter is that any such ‘forced search’ should be undertaken only if absolutely necessary, such as in extreme situations where leaving a pupil with such a suspected item could pose risks to others (or to that pupil), or mean that what might be the only opportunity to establish that such an item was in that pupil’s possession as suspected, is lost.  Other means of dealing with the pupil and the situation should be used if possible – such as keeping the pupil under close surveillance (so any item cannot be surreptitiously disposed of), isolating the pupil from others for the time it takes for matters to be addressed, etc. 

Very strongly recommended wherever feasible are the following courses of action:

Much of this is common sense:  avoid, if at all possible, any physical contact altogether with a pupil, most especially any kind of forced physical contact that might prompt resistance on the pupil’s part.  Equally, however, preserving safety is paramount, and, where a ‘forced search’ presents itself as the only or best way of preserving safety, not to conduct such a search might be construed as a failure in the duty of care on the part of the member of staff involved.

Searches of personal property or school property, for example in a room or locker

Belongings are no longer ‘of the person’ when they are being stored at school or in school property such as lockers. This allows for a greater flexibility of approach. However if a search by a member of staff is undertaken the level of intrusion is potentially as great and so the offence suspected needs to be sufficiently serious, the need for a search legitimate, and prospect of success reasonable.

For ‘lost’ items of relatively low value, a pupil should be asked to search his own belongings to see if the item has been ‘misplaced’. If more than one pupil is included, the scope of the search and the number of pupils involved should reflect the nature of the loss and be legitimately targeted. Kit inspections fall into this category. Members of staff (one as witness) might watch the pupil(s) search, but this may not be deemed necessary or appropriate.

Where a boarder’s dorm is to be searched, the boarder should be given the opportunity to conduct the search personally by emptying out drawers, opening the safe etc. under direction from the members of staff present.  If a boarder refuses to co-operate, and the circumstances are deemed to warrant a search by staff, then the room should be searched by staff, with at least two members of staff being present throughout.  Any suspicious items found should be deposited in a plastic bag & sealed.

General Guidelines

Generally, staff should not without very good cause (such as that provided by circumstances exemplified above):


Further suitable courses of action might, depending on circumstances, include the following, but would not preclude other suitable ways of proceeding:


Recording the results of personal and / or property searches

When a search has taken place the following items should be noted and completed on iSAMS:

Physical Restraint Policy

What is physical restraint?


  1. Restraint occurs whenever a member of staff, using intentional force, physically restricts a child’s movement against his or her will.
  2. Physical restraint does not include the use of gentle physical prompting or guidance  where the child is happy to comply and the aim is to assist him or her to participate  appropriately in activities.
  3. There are other situations where physical contact may be necessary eg; demonstrating exercises in PE lessons; administering first aid; or offering comfort to a distressed pupil. This does not constitute restraint but staff should be conscious of pupil perceptions and recognise that for some pupils touching may be unwelcome and misinterpreted despite good intentions.
  4. It is a procedure for dealing with an unsafe or crisis situation.
  5. It must not be used as a form of punishment and must not be used when a less severe response might have effectively resolved the situation.
  6. Deliberate use of physical contact to punish a pupil, cause pain or injury or humiliation is unlawful, regardless of the severity of the pupil’s behaviour or the degree of provocation.

The use of physical restraint


Restraint should only be used in circumstances where there are good grounds for believing that the pupil is placing him/herself or other people in immediate danger or where there is a likelihood of significant damage to property. Restraint should be used rarely to secure compliance with staff instructions; other methods should always be considered first.

If a school is aware that a pupil is likely to behave in a way that may require physical restraint it will be sensible to plan how to respond, should such a situation arise. This plan should be shared with parents and other staff taking account of the school policy and legislation. If physical restraint is likely to be necessary this should be included in the pupil’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) together with information on: de-escalation strategies; the manner in which the pupil will be held; how support can be summoned if needed; any medical factors to be considered.

Types of Restraint


Restraint occurs whenever a member of staff, using intentional force, physically restricts a pupil’s movement against the pupil’s will. This may mean restraining a pupil or moving him/her by physical means. The procedures of restraints apply to pupils of either sex and of any age.

Restraint can be:

Partial Restraint covers a wide range of techniques which can be applied in degrees to meet particular circumstances. It may involve:

Total Restraint is where pupils are held in such a way which prevents them from moving. This could mean a pupil being held on the floor. This is an extreme form of restraint and would be used only when an assault was being thought a serious risk to others.


Staff should be aware that for some pupils the use of physical restraint may act as a positive re-enforcer for their behaviour.

The Legal Framework


Section 550A of the Education Act 1996 allows teachers, and other members of staff at a school who are authorised by the head teacher , to use such force as is reasonable in circumstances where the pupil may need to be prevented from engaging in behaviours which are likely to cause injury to themselves, others or damage to property. The guidance extends this to maintaining good order and discipline, for both on-site and offsite activities.

There is no legal definition of reasonable force. The Criminal Law Act (1967) allows any person to use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances to prevent an offence (eg. physical assault) being committed. Reasonable minimal force must be a matter of personal judgement. It is permissible:

  1. in order to remove the danger of another person being assaulted
  2. when a person is wilfully damaging property.

The use of any degree of force or restraint is unlawful if the circumstances do not warrant the use of physical force. The degree of force employed must be in proportion to the circumstances of the incident and the potential consequences.

The law requires that force should be used only when every other approach has been tried and all practical methods to de-escalate the situation have been employed. Where a member of staff has clearly over-reacted and the use of force was unreasonable or excessive, he/she may be liable to disciplinary, civil or criminal proceedings.

In cases of physical restraint, a written report must be kept on the child’s file and this will need to include:

It is recommended that this report be written within 12 hours of an incident occurring, and that the pupil is checked by a member of staff independent of the incident to ascertain if injuries have been sustained. (A pro-forma incident report form is included as Appendix A).

It is always advisable to inform parents of an incident involving their child, and give them the opportunity to discuss it. The Headteacher will need to consider whether to inform parents straight away or at the end of the school day, and whether this should be done in writing or orally.


1. Basic information

Name of School: __________________________________________

Name of Pupil: _______________________ DOB:_____ Form: _____

2. Events leading to this incident

2.1 Where did the incident occur? ______________________________

2.2 When did the incident occur? Time: ___________Day/Date: _______

2.3 How did the incident begin?



3. Describe the incident

3.1 What was happening at the time?




3.2 Was anyone else involved?


3.3 Did anyone else see what happened? (give details)



3.4 What behaviour was the pupil presenting that warranted restraint?


3.5 Was there damage to property or an assault on a pupil or staff during the incident?


3.6 What did you do to try to defuse the situation before using restraint?



(i) How was the pupil restrained? (describe) e.g. two people escort; one person wrap; supine control


 (ii) For how long?


(iii) By how many staff members?


4. Injuries sustained

4.1 Was anyone injured? YES / NO

If yes, give details:



4.2 Was this recorded in the accident book? YES / NO

4.3 Was the pupil checked for injuries by a member of staff who was not involved in the incident?                 YES / NO

If yes, by whom?__________________________________________

5. Implications for future planning

5.1 What do you think this behaviour was about?


e.g. attention; emotional release; task escape mechanism; other

5.2 What would you do differently next time to avoid the need for physical restraint?


5.3 Are other staff aware of the need for a planned response to the pupil?


6. Follow up Action

6.1 The incident was reported by:_______________________________

6.2 Parent/Carer was informed by:

Telephone           Letter (with pupil)                 Letter (post)                 Personally

When were they informed? Time: _____________ Date: ____________

Incident form completed by: ________________________________

Date: ____________________________

Updated AJL, 14/01/18

Page  of