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.


A person is guilty of theft if they dishonestly appropriate property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.

Schools and colleges should take steps to establish what has happened and who is involved. The school or college would normally deal with such an incident internally unless there were aggravating factors present.
The following questions will support the school or college in the decision making process.

Are there any aggravating factors?

  • Is the stolen goods of a high value? The definition of high value here is a professional judgment call to be made by the school
  • Is there evidence of escalating behaviour? Or previous incidents of a similar nature?
  • Have any threats or violence been used in the course of the theft?
    What is the impact on the victim?
    What are the victim’s wishes?
    Is there a hate element?
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