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News: Consultation on physical intervention in schools launched

Posted 22 June, 2022 by Jennifer Drummond

Views are being sought on new guidance relating to physical intervention and restraint in schools.

The human-rights based guidance has been developed with input from young people, parents, carers, education staff and the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland.

The guidance focuses on preventative support that should be in place to minimise the use of restraint and provides advice and safeguards that must be followed if restraint is used.

It also outlines forms of restraint that should never be used on children and young people.

Education Secretary, Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“The draft guidance makes it clear that restraint and seclusion should only ever be used as a last resort and when in the best interests of the child or young person.

“The guidance has been developed carefully, over time, with extensive input from more than 30 working group members. I would encourage anyone with an interest in this important area, including children and young people themselves, to give their views by taking part in the consultation.

“In addition to the publication of non-statutory guidance, we will explore options to strengthen the legal framework in this area, including placing the guidance on a statutory basis.”  

The consultation is the result of work by the Scottish Government’s physical intervention group. Established in January 2020, the group was formed following the Scottish Government’s agreement with the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland and the Equality and Human Rights Commission to develop new national human rights based guidance to minimise the use of physical intervention and seclusion in schools.

The consultation will run until 25 October.

Click here to visit the physical intervention in schools guidance consultation