Vulnerable, disabled children are being restrained and secluded in schools – UK

CBF“many families believe restrictive practices are the main method for managing behaviour in some schools”


From CBF press release: Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF) report published 1/2/19 suggests restrictive intervention of children with learning disabilities may be widespread across the UK

The restrictive intervention of vulnerable children is a hidden issue.  The Government does not collect figures on how many disabled children across the UK are restrained, secluded, or subject to other restrictive physical interventions while at school.

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF) and Positive and Active Behaviour Support Scotland (PABSS) both support families of children who have experienced restrictive intervention.  We took forward this piece of work, driven and supported by family-carers, to gather data to better understand the nature and scale of this practice.  Our small-scale piece of work (with 204 survey respondents and 566 case studies) found that many families believe restrictive practices are the main method for managing behaviour in some schools.  That approach is not consistent with NICE recommendations and suggests a need for much greater investigation of this issue.

The survey reported significant harm to children and families

88% of our survey respondents reported that their disabled child had experienced restraint – a third of those saying it happens regularly.  71% had children who had experienced seclusion, 21% of those on a daily basis.  Most of these experiences were reported to happen in school.  The physical and emotional impacts were reported as significant, with 58% of families reporting that their child sustained injuries and 91% reporting a negative emotional impact.  Most families said that recording of incidents was rare, with families reporting that just 19% of the incidents leading to an injury were recorded.

Read the Report:

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