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Searching Pupils at school - any teachers know the law

davewebbsbrain

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My son (Year 7) came home upset today. Turns out his whole form class were searched today without the consent of the pupils.

I wasn't sure of the laws on searching pupils in senior school so I looked it up. Apparently, a pupil can be searched without consent by a person nominated by the head teacher, if there is a belief that pupil has in his/her possession an item like a
weapon or any item banned by the school. The search has to take place witnessed by a second teacher.

Now as the whole class was searched, I doubt very much there was a belief every pupil in the class was carrying something they shouldn't. All 3 teachers were searching pupils simultaniously so there was never a second witness to any of the searches. Bags, pockets, socks etc were searched and the only thing anyone has was a deodorant aerosol can to use after PE.

Thoughts by any teachers on here very much welcomed.
 

Tinks

Worlds Greatest Cook.⭐
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I thinks if there is significant risk to anyone they have the right to search but it would be interesting to know the legal aspect. Personally, if I had a child at a school and the school had been given information then I suppose I would would be grateful they were looking out for other pupils.
Did they say why or what they were looking for?
 

davewebbsbrain

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I thinks if there is significant risk to anyone they have the right to search but it would be interesting to know the legal aspect. Personally, if I had a child at a school and the school had been given information then I suppose I would would be grateful they were looking out for other pupils.
Did they say why or what they were looking for?

They didn't say anything, just they were searching every pupil in the class. They can only search without consent if they have reasonable grounds that a pupil is in possession of a prohibited item. Do you really think they thought every pupil in the class had a prohibited item in their possession?
 

davewebbsbrain

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Genuine question. What's the problem and why is he upset?

The problem is they have no right to search pupils without consent unless they have reasonable grounds to search. IE they think the pupil has something prohibited. The whole class was searched.

Taylor is the most straight and honest kid you will meet. He was upset the teacher thought he had something he shouldn't, upset he had to roll his trouser leg up so the teacher could see and feel in his socks. I am bloody fuming
 

Tinks

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Phil, the consolation is that they were probably given some information that could place someone at risk and that they done the whole class - which is good as they did not single anyone or any group out. As hard as it is I hope it was done in the best interest of all
 

Tinks

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Daft question but have you contacted the school to ask why? And has Taylor got no idea either
 

davewebbsbrain

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Daft question but have you contacted the school to ask why? And has Taylor got no idea either

We have emailed the head of house asking for an explanation. I have downloaded a Department of Education document on searching pupils and they have breached the guidelines.
 

The General

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Apparently they can't say what they are exactly looking for!! Must be drugged related for them to search the whole class but for that to happen in a year 7 group is worrying! Was it during an exam as if a phone goes off they can then search everyone!
 

Tinks

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Jeez, when I was at school they used to line us against the wall and throw chairs at us and if we told our parents we would get a good hiding alongside. I got searched many a time when I was in school
 

davewebbsbrain

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Apparently they can't say what they are exactly looking for!! Must be drugged related for them to search the whole class but for that to happen in a year 7 group is worrying! Was it during an exam as if a phone goes off they can then search everyone!

No, it was just in form class. I will pursue this and make sure it doesn't happen again. What they did was wrong.
 

The General

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No, it was just in form class. I will pursue this and make sure it doesn't happen again. What they did was wrong.

Fair do's! The only other thing it could be is a child protection issue, which makes sense given the situation! They wouldn't do it on a whim that's for sure!
 

Tinks

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We have emailed the head of house asking for an explanation. I have downloaded a Department of Education document on searching pupils and they have breached the guidelines.

Be interested to know the outcome. Please let us know and tell Taylor not to worry
 

OldBlueLady

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Like Tinks, I would imagine they were searching for something specific, which they clearly couldn't give any indication of beforehand as it would give the guilty persons opportunity to get rid.

I've never personally had to search a child, but I have searched school bags and I have made children turn their pockets out. Teachers wouldn't have done this without good cause, however, if you are sure they have breached the guidelines (and there will be a policy in school to cover this and which you can ask to see a copy of) then undoubtedly you should take it further.
 

rigsby

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No, it was just in form class. I will pursue this and make sure it doesn't happen again. What they did was wrong.

Why the big fuss?. Your lad had his pockets and school bag checked, your making it sound like he was strip searched.
 

chapperzUK

Guest
No, it was just in form class. I will pursue this and make sure it doesn't happen again. What they did was wrong.

Not trying to be controversial or start an argument, but is this the best thing to do? Surely your son would just think from now on that all he has to do is tell his Dad something and he will sort it out?

No harm in contacting the school and asking why it happened, but there are a lot worse things in the world than having your bag checked.
 

davewebbsbrain

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Not trying to be controversial or start an argument, but is this the best thing to do? Surely your son would just think from now on that all he has to do is tell his Dad something and he will sort it out?

No harm in contacting the school and asking why it happened, but there are a lot worse things in the world than having your bag checked.

Maybe there is but the school have broke the policy on searches. It isn't the first time they done what they want and sod the rules. Pupils are guilty until proven innocent at the school and the attitude of the teachers stink.
 

davewebbsbrain

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Why the big fuss?. Your lad had his pockets and school bag checked, your making it sound like he was strip searched.

No you are wrong. What happened was the whole class was searched without any reasoning as to why. Searches carried out without the consent of the pupil have to be because there is good grounds that the particular pupil being searched is carrying something banned by the school. In this case, the whole class was searched. Do you really think there were grounds to believe every child in that class had a banned item on them? No of course not. The law also states there has to be a witness to each search. As 3 teachers were searching pupils simultaniously, they couldn't be witnessing any other search at the time of the search. It's about having rules and boundaries and the school crossing those boundaries and breaking the rules set in place
 

londonblue

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No you are wrong. What happened was the whole class was searched without any reasoning as to why. Searches carried out without the consent of the pupil have to be because there is good grounds that the particular pupil being searched is carrying something banned by the school. In this case, the whole class was searched. Do you really think there were grounds to believe every child in that class had a banned item on them? No of course not. The law also states there has to be a witness to each search. As 3 teachers were searching pupils simultaniously, they couldn't be witnessing any other search at the time of the search. It's about having rules and boundaries and the school crossing those boundaries and breaking the rules set in place

How do you know that if you haven't spoken to the school yet? I’m sure you’ve spoken to your son, but he may not actually know the whole story. He may also only have told you want he wants you to know. (Let’s face it, he’s a school kid!)

Personally I think you’re taking the wrong approach. I would start by asking the school to explain their reasoning. If you still don’t agree with them, ask them to explain in more detail, and pick holes in their argument, or at least ask them to clarify points that don’t actually make sense to you.

You may find that you end up agreeing with their approach, but going in all guns blazing won’t really get to the bottom of the issue, and may make you look stupid. Taking the approach I suggest will come over as more considered, and probably achieve a better outcome for both your son and your future credibility.
 

Firestorm

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No you are wrong. What happened was the whole class was searched without any reasoning as to why. Searches carried out without the consent of the pupil have to be because there is good grounds that the particular pupil being searched is carrying something banned by the school. In this case, the whole class was searched. Do you really think there were grounds to believe every child in that class had a banned item on them? No of course not. The law also states there has to be a witness to each search. As 3 teachers were searching pupils simultaniously, they couldn't be witnessing any other search at the time of the search. It's about having rules and boundaries and the school crossing those boundaries and breaking the rules set in place


If someone reports, "A child in class x has got a knife in their bag" but cannot be specific as to which child, there are no "grounds to believe every child in that class had a banned item on them"(your words) , so they should not search anyone ?

As for the issue about the searches being overseen by a witness, I believe that is there more for the teachers protection (accusations of the teacher touching inappropriately etc) than for the Childs benefit and, possibly that in ignoring it in order to get the searches done swiftly , may well indicate the level of severity the school placed on the incident
 
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