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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-01671: Alison Johnstone (Lothian)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 27 July 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on extending positive behaviour support as an alternative to restraint and seclusion measures to all schools working with children and young people with learning disabilities.

Answered by: Mark McDonald 5 August 2016

We have made clear that the Scottish Government is committed to incorporating further guidance on physical restraint and seclusion within the refreshed ‘Included, Engaged and Involved Part 2: A Positive Approach to Preventing and Managing Schools Exclusions’ (IEI2). This guidance is for all children, including children with complex additional support needs, including those arising from learning disabilities. This is in line with the petition responses stating that restraint and seclusion should be seen within the context of early intervention, positive relationships and behaviour.The purpose of the guidance is to support local authorities, mainstream and special schools and other learning establishments and their partners to keep all children and young people fully included, engaged and involved in their education wherever this takes place; and to improve outcomes for those most at risk of exclusion. The guidance focuses on prevention, early intervention and responses to individual need, incorporating staged interventions and additional support to prevent problems escalating.The draft guidance is clear that ‘it is only acceptable to physically intervene or to restrain a child or young person where the member of staff reasonably believes in all the circumstances that if he/she does not physically intervene or restrain the child or young person, the child or young person’s actions are likely to cause physical damage or harm to that pupil or to another person.’ It also highlights that ‘The use of physical intervention, physical restraint and seclusion should all be included in an agreed plan and be used as a last resort. Where seclusion is used it should be used under supervision and should take into account the additional support needs of the child or young person.’