May 11, 2023

May 11, 2023

Children have diverse needs, and sometimes, adults need to intervene to support them. Positive handling is a technique used to ensure that children are safe and their dignity is maintained during any form of intervention. With the right training, staff in primary schools can learn positive handling techniques that will help them to support children with complex needs. In this blog post, we will discuss three positive handling learning outcomes for primary schools.

Understanding the Importance of Positive Handling

Positive handling is an essential tool for primary schools staff, especially those working with children with special needs. The technique helps to ensure that children are safe, and their dignity is maintained during any form of intervention. Positive handling training also helps staff to understand the importance of emotional regulation, communication skills, and the use of de-escalation strategies.

Developing Positive Relationships with Children

Positive handling training helps staff to develop positive relationships with children. By learning how to communicate effectively with children, staff can build rapport with them and establish trust. This trust can lead to better outcomes for the child, and staff can feel more confident in their ability to support them.

Using Positive Handling Techniques Safely and Effectively

Positive handling training enables staff to learn how to use positive handling techniques safely and effectively. Staff learn how to recognize the early warning signs of challenging behavior and use de-escalation strategies to prevent escalation. They also learn how to use positive handling techniques to support children safely without causing harm.

Here is a typical set of topics we cover to meet the learning outcomes for Positive Handling in a Primary School setting:

Recommended Positive Handling Course Elements
 Behaviour Management
Legal and Risk knowledge components
Physical Intervention and Holding Skills
Behaviour Management and Restraint Reduction
 Core Values: Dignity and Respect
Triggers and Cues for Conflict/Distress
Showtime Mindset and Emotional Control
Universal Greeting the Initial Contact
Listening and Empathy
Redirect Abuse and Negative Behaviour
Recognise Vulnerability and use Special Needs Strategies
Appropriate Action and
Legal and Risk Topics
 Identifying Behaviour Phases and Risk
Duty of Care and Decision Making
Principles of Reasonable Force
Risks of Serious Injury in Restraint
Identifying Phases of Behaviour and Risk
 These elements can be covered in online pre-course training
The Kaplan Wheeler model: 7 phases of Crisis Behaviour
Baseline Behaviour Phase – Impact of Trauma on this (Context)
Triggering Phase triggers, trauma cues and coping
Escalation Phase overt stress behaviours and Point of No Return
Crisis or Violence Phase actions on: Engage or Disengage
Resolution and Reflective Phases
Effects of Survival Stress and Trauma
Health and Safety and Risk
 These elements can be covered in online pre-course training
Section 2 and 3 HSAW Duties of Employer
Section 7 Duty of Employees ‘Reasonable Care’
Need for adequate staffing and availability of trained staff
Vulnerability of being alone in a violent incident
The Need for Suitable and Sufficient Risk Assessment
Planned vs Emergency interventions
Manual Handling rules and good posture to reduce injury risk
If Possible, Contain rather than Restrain
Non-police staff should not engage vs. weapons
Principles of Reasonable Force
 These elements can be covered in online pre-course training
Lawful Excuse to Use Force
The Necessity Principle and Criteria
When NEVER to use force
Alternatives to Use of Force
The Proportionality Principle
Range of Viable Options vs Imminent Risk
The Honest Belief Principle
Aftercare when force is used
Awareness of Injury Risk and Sudden Death in Restraint Incidents
 These elements can be covered in online pre-course training
Risks to Staff (note: Head/Neck Trauma)
Risks to the Child or Young Person
Sudden Death Proximal to Restraint
Compressional / Positional Asphyxia
High-Risk Restraint Positions to Avoid
Medical Condition Risk Factors
Other Risk Factors (e.g. Time)
Warning Signs
Emergency Actions on Warning Signs
Interventions for Primary and EYFS settings
 Managing Space and Moving towards Safety
Safer Approach and Positioning
Prompting and Escorting – Front and Back
Humerus Control Principle and Practice
Clothing Grips for Control Principle and Practice
Cupped Fist Hold
Wrist Hold (single/double)
Standing, Seated and Kneeling variations
Dealing with the child or young person dropping
Dealing with head-butting in holds
Dealing with spitting in holds
Dealing with Kicking behaviours in holds
Safely Removing Holds and Disengaging
Risks when operating Solo vs as a Team

For more information, visit the longer-format post about how to choose Positive Handling for your school.

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