Alarming number of children being restrained in UK schools

    Report identified a number of injuries to children as a result of restrictive interventions taking place in schools

      • Sector News
    • 10.02.20

    A large number of children are being harmed in UK schools due to the use of restraint, a report by Reducing Restrictive Interventions – Safeguarding Children and Young People (RRISC) has found.  

    The study, based on information gathered from over 700 families, identified a number of injuries to children as a result of restrictive interventions taking place in UK schools. These ranged from bruises, to head injuries and broken bones. 

    RRISC, which is a group of organisations that are working with families to tackle the issue of restrictive interventions across the UK, found that some families discovered that their children had been restrained multiple times without their knowledge. Currently, schools are not required to record, report or inform families when instances of restraint or seclusion are used. 

    In their response to the report, the Restraint Reduction Network said: “There is an urgent need to ensure staff are trained in the skills to meet needs and prevent crisis situations. The Restraint Reduction Training Standards help ensure this is the case. Currently, they are only mandatory in health and adult social care in England. We must ensure the quality assurance of training is also mandatory in schools in order to ensure #NoHarm in our schools.”

    Challenging behaviour: Report on restrictive intervention

    Restraint Reduction Network: Response to reducing restrictive intervention of children and young people report

    Maybo perspective

    • The Restraint Reduction Network's (RRN) response to this report highlights a situation where schools are not required to adopt rigorous new standards on the training and use of restrictive practices that are being introduced in health and social care services.
    • Children coming second again, as happened in mental health.
    • The range of approaches and practices Maybo has seen is dramatic, including for example two schools in the same area that are very similar in profile, one frequently using restraint and seclusion (probably called something more 'palatable') and the other doing so rarely, if at all.
    • It is promising to see key bodies such as Ofsted getting actively involved with RRN. Our experience and case studies show how it is possible to dramatically reduce restrictive practices through genuine leadership commitment and a range of positive strategies including training that focuses on understanding and reducing behaviours of concern and de-escalation. This means everyone is safer - staff and children.

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