This advice, developed by the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC),  is for school and college staff with responsibility for behaviour management, including designated safeguarding leads (DSLs), their deputies, head teachers and senior leadership teams in schools and colleges in England. The PDF, which contains further information, can be downloaded here.


An act which intentionally or recklessly causes violence to another.

Are there any injuries?

If there are any suspected broken bones or significant injuries then seek medical help first, then call the police on 101.

If no significant injuries are apparent consider:

  • What has happened?
  • Who is involved?
  • Is there any history between the individuals involved?
  • Are there any safeguarding concerns? If YES — Refer to Keeping children safe in education and follow local safeguarding protocols

Are there any aggravating factors?

  • Is there a significant age gap between the individuals involved, ie more than a year apart?
  • Is there any evidence of injuries?
  • Is there evidence of escalating behaviour? Or previous incidents of a similar nature?
  • What is the impact on the victim?
  • What are the victim’s wishes?
  • Are there any hate elements?
  • Is the assault gang-related?
  • Were weapons involved? (see flow chart for the definition of a weapon)
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