Physical restraint for special needs students will be monitored by EHRC

Physical restraint as a cause of trauma on children has led the equality watchdog to closely monitor learning institutions.

The organization, Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has introduced the official query into the appropriateness of restriction methods deployed by schools on the special needs students. There is hardly any authorized data on when and how restriction is used in learning institutions in as much as the methods could be stressful to learners and downgrade their learning, observed the watchdog.

It follows the warning from parents that learners with special needs have been injured following physical restraint of approximately 80- times in a few months. During the course of 2019, a nationwide campaign urging the government to enhance efficiency in regulating restrictions in institutions of learning was conducted by families.

Beth Morrison started a 10 years-long campaign against physical restraint

After her 11 years old son Calum suffered injuries from his school, Beth Morrison started a 10 years-long campaign against physical restraint and to her relief, EHRC will look into the matter conclusively.

Beth said that it falls under the human rights scandal for deploying seclusion and restraint for learners. She went on to add that schools should be safe places for their children and injuries occurred due to restraint because schools are not being held into account.

Currently, the scale of restrain is unknown as there is no provision for schools to report cases of restraint to families. A report published on Monday showed that over 700 families in the United Kingdom have gone through interventions for restriction. To be precise, the Watchdog will find out whether institutions in Wales and England are gathering information geared towards improving the use of physical restraint.

Following her son’s ordeal, Morrison stated that the bruises were treated but the trauma still existed, as the son begged every day to avoid attending school.

Physical restraint as a last resort

The EHRC chair, David Isaac stated that schools should be safe havens for kids and physical restraint should only come as a last resort. He added that it was paramount to figure out whether the right actions are taken to comprehend the use of restraint in order to ensure students are treated with dignity and they achieve full potential in education.

The general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, Geoff Barton, put across that it should be common to record issues of physical restraint and use the data to check trends and issue reform policies.

Physical restraint is only in rare and extreme cases where a pupil could harm someone else. The Department for Education spokesperson said that institutions should be peaceful for every student, and schools should monitor pupils’ behavior and mental health.

There was a call for physical restraints ban by concerned citizens upon learning about traumatic cases. A ‘Lose the Booth’ conference in Leeds later this month will bring to a head calls to stop using isolation to discipline pupils.

physical restraints ban


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