The new search and seizure powers for state schools will come into effect on 1 January 2014.  Teachers and other staff (authorised in writing by the Board) will be able to require students to hand over any items that may endanger safety or detrimentally affect the learning environment.  This will include electronic devices upon which material is stored.

Items can be retained for a reasonable period, they must be stored appropriately and either disposed of (other than electronic devices) or returned to the student or other appropriate agency.

Searches must be carried out (unless it is impractical) by a person of the same sex as the student, and in the presence of another teacher or authorised person of the same sex, and in the presence of the student.

It is permissible to require outer clothing to be removed (unless that would leave only underwear or nothing) and includes hats, gloves, footwear and socks (but not tights or stockings).

Students can be required to surrender any bag or container.

Any clothing, bag or container must be returned to the student after the search and a written record kept of any item seized. Physical force is not permitted and there is no power to search the student e.g. by a pat or rub down, or putting hands in pockets.  Dogs can be used to search school property such as lockers and desks, but not to search students.  Search must be carried out in private and in a sensitive way.  Body samples cannot be demanded.

The Secretary of Education is to provide a set of rules and guidelines for searching and retaining.