Early Years Positive Handling

  • Specific to Early Years settings
  • Adapted Communication skills
  • Based on your key scenarios
  • Accredited and Quality Assured

Positive Handling Proven for Early Years

Our Positive Handling training reduces injury risk, improves inspection compliance and safeguards staff, children and your school’s reputation.

We are an Institute of Conflict Management (ICM) Quality Award Centre (#2201) for the delivery of conflict and interventions training.

We achieve this using a robust Positive Handling decision-making framework based on all the relevant legislation and National Guidance for Positive Handling, coupled with a modern, pragmatic approach to the holding and containment of children whose behaviour might harm themselves or others.

We have provided training for teams who deal with children aged 3+ in Nursery*, Childcare and Early Years settings over the years and our strategies have met with success.

We adapt our de-escalation strategies for the early years context but look at all behaviour through the filter of the Kaplan-Wheeler model for distress related to ‘lashing out’ and other potentially harmful expressions of frustration, anxiety and aggression.

In our experience working with Early Years contexts, there is a prevalence of Communication Difficulties (with English as a second language, or developmental delays in language) and with children who are non-verbal.

We understand that this is often where the difficulties for staff arise.

Our non-escalation and de-escalation for early years focusses on the same strategies we use for Emotionally Distressed Persons, namely:

  • Modelling Clamness
  • Reducing Stimulation
  • Using Adapted Communications (elevated Non-Verbal Signalling)
  • Meeting Unmet Basic Needs (SCARF Model)
  • Removing the Audience and Supporting the Distressed Child

This is a specific Positive Handling course for educational environments focussed on Early Years.

We train a group of your staff in the knowledge, skills and judgement required to manage crisis behaviour in the Early years context and use physical interventions, as an absolute last resort where prevention fails, to keep young children safe from distressed behaviour which may be harmful.

*Please Note that there are strict limitations on the professional expertise of our trainers in regards to advice that may best be offered by early-years qualified occupational therapists, educational psychologists, autism, SALT or other specialist advisors about behaviours which do not meet the threshold of requiring 'restraint' interventions which keep your team and your other children safe in your setting.

A Values-driven approach to dealing with behaviour

Our aim is that every person in your school is treated with dignity and shown respect, even when things get difficult.  Your team will learn tried and tested communication skills which will improve their ability to de-escalate situations by being more aware of conflict triggers, the pathway of escalation and the ways in which they can intervene with words and behaviour which create calm out of chaos.

Evidence-based training design and delivery

Through collaborations with sector specialists, we design and deliver research-informed training which transfers effectively to your classrooms and corridors.  We are specialists in training which creates authentic learning and which transfers easily to the work environment. By making sure we focus on YOUR context, YOUR children and YOUR behaviour ethos, we want you to achieve your goals and realise your investment in the training.

Legally and Medically Reviewed

We have continually updated our advice and content with input from medical, legal and education specialists.

Our techniques and tactics have been reviewed for use with children and young people so that any risks of the tactics are known and discussed with your teams.   All physical interventions carry some risk - knowing how to identify and mitigate them is part of the professional learning that must take place.

Our legal advice about how individuals and schools must comply with law and guidance has been reviewed by education-sector legal specialists who audited our training manuals and content, ensuring that when we answer your questions about any aspect of Positive Handling, we are giving you the safest and most appropriate advice possible.

Quality Assured and Accredited

Our training is accredited by the Institute of Conflict Management (ICM) for training in the prevention and management of aggression and violence in the Health, Social Care and Education sectors.

We hold Quality Award Centre status (centre #2201) with regular audits with the ICM.

Our trainer Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is carried out regularly, focussing on:

- creating effective learning environments

- optimal practice types which promote authentic learning

- designing training for easy transfer to the workplace

- carrying out training needs analysis

- focusing on the specific needs of the training group

Our trainers are regularly audited for their professionalism and ability to lead a training group effectively, engagingly and efficiently.

NEWS:  Early Years Staff Struggling...

Early years staff struggling to support children's emotional and behavioural needs

Annette Rawstrone
Thursday, February 11, 2021

From trauma to bereavement and domestic abuse, the majority of nursery workers are encountering children with extremely difficult backgrounds and many feel underprepared for the task, research has found.

More than 4 in 10 early years workers surveyed said they had noticed signs that children in their care had their emotional wellbeing affected by the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown

It is often overlooked that nursery practitioners are working with vulnerable children on a daily basis, the report ‘Their challenges are our challenges’ by the Anna Freud Centre states.

The centre, which specialises in child mental health research, training and treatment, surveyed more than 900 nursery practitioners during the last three months of 2020. They revealed that they have experienced working with children facing complex backgrounds and challenging emotional and behavioural needs.

Many of the nursery staff surveyed admitted that they had found the children’s needs difficult to manage and wanted more access to training. More than half (53 per cent) said they had not received any additional training, alongside their standard training, that related to early years mental health.

Domestic violence, parental substance use, abuse and bereavement were listed as some of the issues affecting the children in their care. Other challenges involved different emotional or mental health needs.

The effects of the pandemic were also a cause for concern for some of the respondents (see below). One nursery worker said, ‘Children’s behaviour has changed. Some are very noisy, others are very quiet. The atmosphere at work doesn’t feel “normal” – ie I feel there is an underlying stress for everyone…’

The report found that:

  • 69 per cent of nursery staff who responded to the survey said they had experienced working with babies or children affected by trauma or abuse.
  • 71 per cent of nursery staff said they had worked with babies and children affected by domestic violence.
  • 60 per centreported that they had worked with babies or children from families affected by substance usage.
  • Almost half (48 per cent)said they had worked with children who had experienced the bereavement of either a parent or sibling.
  • 42 per cent of staff said they had noticed signs that children in their care had had their emotional wellbeing affected by the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.
  • Three quarters (75 per cent) of staff said they had looked after young children who displayed ‘unusually aggressive or violent behaviour’.
  • 91 per cent said they had dealt with challenging situations that involved children who potentially had mental health issues, or social or emotional difficulties.

Dr Camilla Rosan, head of the early years programme at the Anna Freud Centre said, ‘The early years are the most important in terms of a child’s development, and the results of this survey are truly eye opening.

‘When most of us think about who will be directly supporting our most vulnerable children and families, we normally think of social workers and mental health professionals. But we forget that our nursery workers are engaging with vulnerable children on a daily basis. Aside from their own families, these children probably spend more time with nursery workers than anyone else during their early formative years. This research should fundamentally shift the way we view the role of nursery workers within our society.’

Many of the nursery workers surveyed said that they felt stressed and upset (71 per cent) when it came to dealing with children’s challenging needs. While almost three quarters (74 per cent) reported feeling confused and unsure of the best way to deal with those children.

‘At times, nursery staff are clearly feeling under-prepared and under-resourced to manage and support children who are experiencing challenging emotions or have mental health needs,’ said Dr Rosan.

‘They are telling us that they want to know more about what lies behind emotions such as anger and aggression, as they are encountering them more than we think. They also tell us they want more training in the best ways to support a child who is experiencing these difficult emotions. It’s clear we need to prioritise the development of these skills and give nursery staff the support and training opportunities they so want and deserve about early years’ mental health.’

The pandemic’s effect on early years children’s mental health and wellbeing

Signs that the mental health and wellbeing of early years children had been affected by the pandemic or lockdowns was noted by 42 per cent of the early years workers questioned.

One nursery worker responding to the survey summarised, ‘Those children who were confident and happy to leave parents are now not. They have struggled to settle. As the dynamics of family lives continue to change, the stresses can be seen - late payment of invoices, cancellations of lunches/quality of lunch for children. Difficult behaviour from children who have had no garden space, limited family time and lack of money has meant months in their house where parents have given them unlimited screen time and lack of rules and boundaries.’

Common themes mentioned included:

Greater separation anxiety and newfound issues in forming relationships with staff

Nursery staff said that longer periods of settling and support were required. Children were ‘anxious when leaving parents at the gate’.

Greater reliance on comforters was mentioned, as was a fear of being left alone: ‘Some children kept repeating “I love you” almost like they thought we had gone and weren’t going to return again’.

Also, some staff reported children’s fears over staff wearing PPE.

Children having become more emotional, experiencing more unpleasant emotions, and a newfound difficulty with managing their emotions. 

An increase in angry and aggressive behaviour was also mentioned a number of times - as were meltdowns and tantrums.

Children now exhibiting more challenging behaviour 

Some children also seemed less willing to listen to adults, less patient in having their needs met, more demanding than before, less co-operative and more reluctant to share space with others.

Children experiencing greater issues with socialising

‘When the children returned they shied away from each other. They played in a solitary way initially, even the children who had formed good peer/peer relationships. Also some children seemed afraid to be around others, withdrew and didn't want contact.’

The ability to play, in general, had also been affected in some children.

Children developing an obsession with cleaning hands, and a fear of germs, and a fear of the virus’s danger and damaging effects

A significant number of respondents reported incidents of children who had become ‘obsessed’ with washing their hands.

Some have become a bit obsessed with hand washing, some were nervous of new or unusual adults, one put his hand over his mouth every time he came close to an adult initially, lots now talk about germs a lot!’

Children being upset over restrictions around seeing family and friends

A number of respondents mentioned that children were anxious or upset over not being able to see friends, family or grandparents outside of nursery.

Some also struggled when there were rule changes in this regard, for example, ‘I can see my grandma, now I can’t see my grandma again.’

Need for training

Sector organisations backed the survey's recommendations and call for more training for early years staff to help them support vulnerable children.

Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), said, ‘The results of this survey clearly show the range of challenges practitioners are facing. They are seeing the impact the Covid-19 pandemic and numerous lockdowns are having on our youngest children first hand and dealing with the difficulties. 

‘We wholeheartedly support calls that the sector needs more training to support staff for the complex work they are doing. This training is increasingly important for them to identify problems early as we know this can have the biggest impact on those children’s development.’

Commenting, Neil Leitch, Early Years Alliance chief executive, said, ‘We know that practitioners are a source of unwavering emotional safety and security for children, but undoubtedly the level of responsibility when it comes to supporting and safeguarding children can itself take a huge emotional toll on those working in the early years. It is therefore vital that the sector is supported both practically and financially to ensure practitioners are not under undue pressure themselves, and that they have access to the tools and training needed to provide the vital care so many children need.'

RESEARCH:  Aggression during Early Years

Aggression during Early Years:
This review explores the meaning and origins of aggression in early years. Eight pathways to aggression with origins in early childhood are suggested. These include: the contribution of individual factors; the effects of disturbed family dynamics; parental characteristics and parenting practices; the impact of exposure to violence and the influence of attachment relationships. Other influences such as: aggression relating to psychiatric/medical syndromes; the influence of neurodevelopment pathways and psychodynamic explanations, such as aggressive behavior in relation to mothers’ reflective capacity are also discussed. Conclusion: While several routes to aggression have been proposed, no single factor is sufficient to explain the development of aggressive behavior. Longitudinal studies are sorely needed to observe aggressive behavior in children and to monitor their developmental trajectories.   :

Aggressive Behavior of Children in a Daycare Center

"What is most concerning, however, is that many children present risk factors for the development of aggressiveness, as well as difficulties in learning effective self-regulation strategies. For example, in the longitudinal study mentioned before, conducted with 504 families in Canada, Tremblay et al. (2004) tested children over a period of 37 months, between 5 and 42 months of age, identifying their trajectory of physical aggression during this period. These researchers showed that 58% of the children followed a rising trajectory of moderate physical aggression (in comparison to their age group) and 14% presented a rising trajectory of high aggressiveness.

Another important contribution of the longitudinal study by Tremblay et al. (2004) was the identification of important risk factors for the development of physical aggression associated with the environment of the child, for example, poverty, mothers with a history of antisocial behavior, dysfunctional families and coercive parenting style. In addition to the contribution of different risk factors, social learning plays a fundamental role in originating and maintaining aggressive behavior (Vieira, Mendes, & Guimarães, 2010; Widom, 2014). Being exposed to domestic violence can also contribute to an increase in aggressive responses in children (D’Affonseca & Williams, 2003; Ormeño & Williams, 2006), more specifically, an environment in which aggression has reinforcing consequences may increase the likelihood that the child will reproduce aggressive behaviors (D’Affonseca & Williams, 2003). It is important to note, however, that children will not necessarily repeat their parents’ pattern of behaviors, although the probability is higher (Calvete & Orue, 2011).


Positive Behaviour Strategies in Early Years

What Does Positive Behaviour Management Look Like in Early Years?

Positive behaviour management in early years settings involves recognising that different strategies work for different children.

All children are different, and have different experiences prior to nursery as some children may be used to socialising, whilst others might be used to playing on their own. It is important to recognise that children are still learning as they go, and therefore need extra guidance when it comes to understanding the difference between positive and negative behaviour.

As such, positive behaviour management can be encouraged for all children, however, it may be that some strategies aren’t always effective with some children in your class. Therefore it’s important to discover the strategies that do work for each child to avoid neglecting their needs.

It is also important to set realistic expectations in early years behaviour management. For example, if a child demonstrates violent behaviour such as hitting or biting, using a raised voice isn’t the best way to steer the child away from this or to promote more positive behaviour.

Instead, you should calmly direct the child away from the situation, and sit with them in a quiet thinking area and gently tell them why that behaviour is not appropriate. This allows the child to calm down, and then you can let them know that their next step is to apologise to the child that they have hurt, as saying sorry when you hurt someone is an example of good behaviour.

Why Is Positive Behaviour Management Important?

During this early stage of learning, adopting a positive approach to behaviour management helps to improve wellbeing and ensure positive outcomes for the children in your care.  By creating a cohesive, happy, learning environment, children are able to make mistakes as they go, and understand that they are supported in their learning journey.

At this young age, children are constantly developing and are starting to learn how to self-regulate and express their emotions. Children deserve to be in a safe environment where they can experiment with how they react and interact with others without fear of blame, judgement, or punishment.

This is why positive behaviour management is absolutely key.

For example, when demonstrating to children that violent behaviour towards others isn’t acceptable, it is important to stay calm and to ask children how they’re feeling. This is a better way to deal with the situation, as it prevents violent behaviour from escalating, and better prepares children for their next step in education. Additionally, behaviour management helps to empower you in your role. It is important that you feel confident with the strategies you are using to encourage positive behaviour in children, and that they are successfully helping children adopt better behavioural habits.

As a nursery practitioner, seeing children do well and improve their behaviour management is highly rewarding, as you are a core part of this journey.

Strategies for Successful Positive Behaviour Management

In early years settings, there are multiple strategies you can put in place to manage negative behaviour and encourage positive behaviour instead. These different strategies can be put into place, to ensure that positive behaviour is encouraged and recognised at all stages of learning and development.

When using these strategies, it’s important you keep everything clear and positive – even when you are dealing with challenging behaviour.  The strategies outlined below, can help to create the right environment for the children in your care so that they can learn positive behavioural habits for nursery and beyond..

Know your Children

As well as knowing what your children express interest in and where their strengths lie, it’s important to know what triggers or upsets each of the children in your care.

This can ensure that the strategies you are using match up to each child’s needs, and the correct support is provided for every circumstance.

For example, if you know a child has no siblings, this may affect how well they can play and share toys with other children.

This means you must adapt your strategies for individual circumstances by encouraging this child to get involved in group activities. As a result, this increases the time they spend with other children, and allows them to feel more comfortable taking turns and thinking about other people’s feelings.

Ask For the Behaviour You Want

By outlining to the children the kind of behaviour you expect while they’re at nursery, this allows them to gradually understand what positive behaviour is.

It is important to tell children the behaviour you would like to see, instead of highlighting what ‘isn’t allowed’. For example, using the phrase ‘kind hands please’ instead of ‘no hitting’, is a clear way of explaining that hitting isn’t acceptable behaviour, but using more positive phrasing.

To avoid overloading children with too much information, keep the phrases that you use short and simple, so they understand what they are being asked and what is expected of them.

Be a Role Model

Children learn from others, therefore it is part of your job to set a good example of positive behaviour by following the behaviour expectations you are setting.

During play with others for example, demonstrate sharing and using a calm voice to show children what positive behaviour looks like during play.

This then provides a solid example for children to watch and directly learn from, meaning they are seeing and understanding how they should be playing with other children. At this early learning stage, children will then replicate what they have seen, and this ensures that they are learning how to behave in situations the right way.

Reward Good Behaviour

When children are acknowledging your expectations and behaving positively at nursery, it is important to reward this behaviour.

It is also important to be specific when rewarding good behaviour, for example, the phrase ‘well done for playing nicely and sharing’, allows children to link this behaviour with encouragement and praise.

Verbal recognition and reward is effective for early years settings, particularly when children are very young as they learn best through communication.

However, introducing a sticker chart can also be useful when it comes to rewarding good behaviour. This encourages children to keep up positive behaviour as they can associate this with stickers on the chart, which may add up to small rewards such as extra outdoor play or a certificate.

Make Clear and Age-Appropriate Consequences for Behaviour

Whilst consequences are important to encourage positive behaviour, it’s key to make sure they are clear and age-appropriate.

For children in early years settings, it may be that ‘thinking time’ is used rather than the ‘naughty step’ or ‘time out’ – both of which have negative connotations.

This reinforces the idea that this is the time for the children to move away from an activity so that they can sit and talk things through with you. This prevents children from feeling isolated, and lets them start fresh rather than feeling as though they are being punished.

It’s important not to use shame or humiliation when explaining consequences or dealing with challenging behaviour, as the emphasis should be on the positive aspect of calming down and rejoining play when the child is ready.

Create an Environment For Good Behaviour

Creating a safe space for children to learn good behaviour is an important step in encouraging good behaviour in early years learning.

The environment you create should allow children to make mistakes along the way and learn from these mistakes.

For example, if a child refuses to leave an activity, it’s important to recognise how they are feeling by using phrases such as ‘I understand it’s hard for you to stop playing in the sandpit, but it’s time for someone else to have a go now’.

This allows you to acknowledge the child’s challenging behaviour in a positive way, as the child’s feelings are recognised, and at the same time, it is demonstrated to them that taking turns is positive behaviour.

Consider SEND

Within early years settings, it is important that you cater to children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

It is possible that challenging behaviour may be due to SEND, and if this is suspected, it is important you have strategies in place to specifically support these children.

For example, maintaining a good relationship with parents allows you to discuss some alternative behavioural strategies with them. This way you can include the strategies they use at home that will help behaviour management within your nursery.

Review your Strategies

It is key for you to set time aside to think about and assess how well your positive behaviour management strategies are working.

As we have previously mentioned, all children are different and will therefore require different strategies in order to learn positive behaviour habits.

In order to be effective with your behavioural strategies, they should develop and grow over time based on the needs of the children in your care.

For example, you should make time to review strategies at regular intervals throughout the year so that you can adapt accordingly if certain strategies aren’t working.

Positive Behaviour Management Strategies: A Nursery practitioners Guide

To recap, we have discussed the importance of positive behaviour management and how to work several behaviour management strategies into your nursery plan.

These strategies will ultimately help the learning and development of the children in your care, as they will be demonstrating the expected and appropriate behaviours for their age group.

Therefore, children will be better prepared for the move to the next stage of education, as you will have set examples of how to regulate their feelings and act accordingly.



Anna Freud Centre Report 2021 - Main Findings

Main findings
The survey, which is part of the report entitled Their challenges are our challenge,  received responses from over 900 UK nursery staff during the last three months of 2020. Its findings include the following:

  • 69 per cent of nursery staff who responded said they had experienced working with babies or children affected by trauma or abuse.
  • 71 per cent of nursery staff said they had worked with babies and children affected by domestic violence.
  • 60 per cent reported that they had worked with babies or children from families affected by substance usage.
  • Almost half (48 per cent) said they had worked with children who had experienced the bereavement of either a parent or sibling.
  • 42 per cent of staff told us they had noticed signs that children in their care had had their emotional wellbeing affected by the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.
  • Three quarters (75 per cent) of staff said they had looked after young children who displayed ‘unusually aggressive or violent behaviour’.
  • 91 per cent said they had dealt with challenging situations that involved children who potentially had mental health issues, or social or emotional difficulties.

The survey also looked at the impact that dealing with these challenging needs was having on nursery staff themselves, and how equipped they felt to dealing with them. Many admitted to feeling stressed, upset, and out of their depth at times. In summary:

  • 71 per cent of staff said they had become stressed or upset when dealing with these situations, whilst 74 per cent said they felt confused and unsure of best way to deal with them.
  • More than half (53 per cent) said they had not received any additional training, alongside their standard training, that related to early years mental health.

Feedback from Learners About Our Training

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Feedback from Early Years settings

What our customers are saying:

Benefitted from the training.

“It was the best training course I’ve been on. We all really enjoyed and benefited from the training. The knowledge and delivery the trainer had was superb”

SEND AND SEMH LEAD // St. Giles Infant School

Good knowledge...

“Good knowledge of how to apply positive handling for small children”

BRIGHT SPARKS PRE-SCHOOL // Level 3 Nursery Nurse

Definitely recommend...

“Very impressed by content of course and trainer's delivery so would definitely recommend”



Director Of Training At Dynamis

Hi and thanks for visiting our website today.

In over 15 years of working with frontline staff who face difficult, distressed and dangerous behaviour, i have seen time and again how prepared staff can perform well and respond to challenging circumstances.

From teachers to nurses, teaching and care assistants to security officers in our hospitals and social workers in the community, if you deal with people every day, managing conflict becomes a necessity.

I became involved in this work because i saw the power of training and preparation in helping people to stay safe at work and to be more successful in working with their colleagues to create better outcomes.

I and my team of professional trainers now teach in over 200 training engagements every year around the uk and internationally for a wide variety of public-facing organizations just like yours.

We have sought out the best conflict management training content and the best learning methods in the world and bring them together for you and your team.

How is Dynamis Positive Handling training different?

As a pioneer in using online training for positive handling we understand how to get the best out of this format, for your busy school and your in-demand staff!

Uniquely flexible to your needs

With no less than 5 different formats for each course we deliver, we work hard to fit into your schedule, your budget and your work - your partner in behaviour management and positive handling.

dedicated to authentic learning

Through our collaboration with Loughborough University faculty, we design and deliver training which has the highest degree of transfer to your working environment.

trauma-informed and responsive

Through our partnership with NAOTP we are committed to being trauma-aware as a team and our problem-solving approach recognises 'all behaviour has meaning'.


Your staff need skills and knowledge which will help you with YOUR specific children and behaviours, so our approach is focused on solving YOUR positive handling issues. See SCENA for more information.

A highly popular training course to create safe classrooms and safeguard children.

This training will challenge your teams to use their best instincts to precent or De-Escalate conflict, to develop their skills in understanding behaviour and make better decisions in regards to when (or when NOT) to physically intervene in higher-risk scenarios..

Our training covers a variety of the most common scenarios which staff in school face when they must deal with behaviour or risk, and gives straight answers to frequently asked questions.

  • De-Escalation
  • Managing Behaviour
  • Duty of Care
  • Balancing Risk 
  • Dept Education Guidance
  • Best Practice
  • Common Scenarios
  • Physical Skills
  • Can we lift and carry a child from one area to another?

    Should I ever attempt to restrain a child by myself?

    What is good practice if I see two children fighting?

    Should I remove a child who is climbing on top of bookcases?

    What can we do about children who are 'runners'?

    Join hundreds of Happy, Safer Early Years clients

    What our customers are saying:

    Made the learning enjoyable...

    Heidi facilitated well . She was knowledgeable, friendly, warm, approachable and was empathetic to everyone’s needs ; great sense of humour and made the learning enjoyable. Well planned and overall the trainer was excellent at modelling techniques and providing scenarios that were relatable . Thank you !”

    ASSISTANT HEADTEACHER // Braeburn Primary and Nursery Academy

    Fabulous Delivery...

    “Fabulous delivery, made bespoke to our setting. Very experienced trainer and could draw on a range of experiences. Thank you!”

    HEAD TEACHER // Hillcrest Early Years Academy

    Explained in detail ...

    “Really clear session and three hours flew by! Really liked the links to experiences and how to remember the knowledge clearly (such as think of your personal space as a house). Zeb was great if we had any questions and really explained in detail so everyone could join and complete the course. It was explained brilliantly”

    EARLY YEARS PHASE LEADER // Sudbourne Primary School

    Learning Outcomes for Positive Handling


    KNOWLEDGE and THEORY elements.

    Your staff are guided through 12 key decision-making factors which are fundamental to good practice in the area of Positive Handling. This Online Learning component may be particularly helpful for schools who have unnecessarily booked Whole-School training in the past.


    Our trainer will then lead your staff through the verbal models for conflict communications and the physical Positive Handling tactics they may need at the higher levels of risk in practical sessions where repetition and embedding the skills is our aim.

    The Learning Outcomes for our Positive Handling Courses

    Your staff will explore and develop an understanding of:

    ✔ Health and Safety provisions for managing safety in the school workplace (Duty of Care).

    ✔ Department of Education Guidance on “The use of Reasonable Force with pupils” for Positive Handling

    ✔ Definitions of Powers from Education & Inspection Act Section 93 for the use of restraint and Positive Handling

    ✔ Communications De-Escalation Principles for Common Positive Handling Scenarios in Schools.

    ✔ Practical risk-reduction to protect and safeguard school staff and their pupils during Positive Handling

    ✔ Importance of Positive Behaviour Support plans and Positive Handling Plans for pupils

    ✔ The risks inherent in Restraint/Positive Handling interventions and how to reduce or avoid them.

    ✔ Positive Handling Control, Escort and Restraint Techniques for Non-Harmful Control of Children and Young People

    Choose your format to suit your school.

    One Full Day:   9.30am to 3.30pm on a day when you can release your team…

    This option gives your staff the most practice time and question/answer time with the trainers. Assimilation of the material and retention of the physical skills is optimal with this duration. Schools will usually choose this option if they have a well-identified need for training in physical interventions with particular high-risk children. For dedicated SEN, Learning Disability or EBD settings we also have a 2-day option which is recommended for higher-risk care environments.

    Half Day or Twilight Session: AM, PM or After-School on ANY date convenient for your team…no need for an INSET day!

    Sometimes a school with limited time, or with infrequent incidents at a low level of risk will need our concise half-day course. We can use our online courseware, with individual logins, progress tracking and test scores based on video presentations and knowledge-checks to prepare your staff on the required knowledge and theory for positive handling, and then visit onsite with you on a convenient day to spend time developing the necessary physical skills to manage situations. Half-Day and Twilight sessions can start at 0930 or 1230 or 1530 for example. Flexible to your schedule! Find out more…

    60 min or 90 min Briefing: when time is of the essence and you need basic information quickly…

    This is a legal briefing on the rules and principles of physical interventions in school settings only, with no physical skills development for the staff. It can be useful to establish a baseline of knowledge school-wide or to give the management team essential knowledge. We sometimes begin one of the above options (a full or a half-day) with a Whole-School legal briefing to baseline your team’s understanding.

    Blending all of the options: for the best fit of critical information for the right teams…

    Depending on where the risks have been identified, schools will blend all of the options to get the right level of training across all of their staff team. Just get in touch to start a discussion about how we can best meet your needs and your budget.

    Popular: A 90-minute information briefing in the AM for your whole-school, followed by specialist training in both decision-making AND physical skills over the rest of the training day for a “behaviour management team” hand-picked by your SLT.

    Our Partners and Accreditation


    Dynamis is a Quality Award Centre with the ICM, a recognised accrediting body in the U.K. for workplace training in the prevention and management of workplace violence.

    Healthcare Myth 2: If I Say Something It Will Make Things Worse 2



    Dynamis is the premier European Partner for Vistelar, a global consulting organisation covering training across the entire spectrum of human conflict.


    Dynamis represents the 9 Attitudes system, a fully behavioural approach to self-protection and physical control which is based on the observable realities of physical confrontation.