The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published the results of their inquiry into the use of restraint in schools in England and Wales.
Restraint covers physical restraint and seclusion, but also mechanical restraint (e.g. the use of materials or equipment to restrict a pupil’s ability to move or act, such as arm splints, belts or cuffs) and chemical restraint (when medication is used to control or subdue a pupil’s behaviour).
A large part of their evidence base came from our online survey of 641 schools which assessed the extent to which schools record, monitor and analyse data about restraint. We found that 6% of schools did not have a policy covering the use of restraint. Overall 84% had a policy that required all incidents of restraint to be recorded and 71% had a policy that also covers the analysis of those incidents.
Based on the evidence, EHRC has called on the UK and Welsh governments to publish nationally agreed definitions of the different types of restraint, accompanied by guidance on the various risks to children of different forms of restraint, based on up-to-date research evidence, and shared with schools through guidance and training.