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Ombudsman emphasises importance of monitoring seclusion

Ombudsman’s Final Opinion emphasises importance of monitoring best practice delivery

16 November 2017: A Final Opinion released by the Ombudsman has emphasised again the need for regular monitoring of schools when it comes to the use of seclusion, the Human Rights Commission says.

The Final Opinion, released by Ombudsman Peter Boshier today, outlines his investigation into the seclusion of an autistic child at Ruru Specialist School and the recommendations he has made following that investigation.

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools.

“Since the cases outlined in this report were uncovered, the Ministry of Education has taken steps to address the use of seclusion in classrooms. This had also been reinforced in legislation, with the practice now prohibited in all schools. This is a positive outcome.

“Parents need to know that issues concerning the well-being of their child in the classroom will be addressed through appropriate processes and practices. It is vital that the Ministry and the Education Review Office are regularly monitoring schools to ensure this is taking place.

“Seclusion is never an appropriate response to issues arising from disability and the changes in legislation reflect this. The key now is to ensure the practice does not happen again,” Ms Tesoriero says.

Ends.

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