Pupils with social, emotional and mental health special needs: Perceptions of how restrictive physical interventions impact their relationships with teaching staff

Jonathan Willis, Amy Harrison, Jennifer L. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Positive teacher-child relationships (TCRs) are vital for pupil well-being and are especially important for at-risk children. This qualitative study investigated the impact of restrictive physical interventions (RPIs) on TCRs in focus groups comprising ten boys aged 9-11 years attending two special schools in England. We examined the immediate and post incident impact of RPIs on the TCRs of two groups: students who have experienced RPIs and those who have witnessed RPIs. A range of consequences for student well-being, educational support and the TCR were identified. The implications of current study findings for the prevention and implementation of RPIs are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103219
JournalTeaching and Teacher Education
Early online date14 Oct 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Oct 2020


  • restrictive physical intervention
  • restraint
  • crisis management
  • teacher-child relationship
  • special educational needs (SEN)

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