Seclusion in schools

The safety and wellbeing of students and staff is paramount. Most schools use positive behaviour management practices to deal with inappropriate or dangerous student behaviour. Schools should not use seclusion to manage challenging student behaviour.

Schools secluding students have been asked to stop the practice immediately and to report any previous use of seclusion to their board of trustees and Director of Education their region. The Ministry is supporting schools which have used seclusion in the past to explore other options so that the use of seclusion ceases with immediate effect.

If you have a concern or complaint about the use of seclusion in a school, please contact the Ministry of Education straight away. 

Schools should also contact the Ministry of Education for advice and support if a situation requires the use of physical restraint. 

Time out is still an acceptable way to manage student behaviour.

Guidance for New Zealand Schools on Behaviour Management to Minimise Physical Restraint

This guidance will help schools use positive strategies for managing student behaviour. It focuses on preventative and de-escalation techniques with the priority on the wellbeing and safety of both staff and students. It has been developed by a cross-sector advisory group.

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