Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Seclusion in schools to be made illegal

Hon Hekia Parata

Minister of Education
3 November 2016 Media Statement
Seclusion in schools to be made illegal

Education Minister Hekia Parata has today announced that she is proposing to make the use of seclusion in schools illegal.

The Ministry of Education is also releasing guidance developed by an Advisory Group so that all schools can have a clear understanding of what is modern practice for dealing with challenging behaviour.

“The vast majority of schools have good practices in place for managing the challenging behaviour of a small number of students in a safe and inclusive way,” says Ms Parata. “I appreciate this can be very difficult. But in today’s world there is no situation where it is acceptable for seclusion to be used in schools or early childhood education services, so I want to make that clear in the law.”

Ms Parata will invite the Select Committee to consider a Supplementary Order Paper to the Education (Update) Amendment Bill that would prohibit seclusion in schools and early childhood education (ECE) services in a similar way to section 139A of the Education Act 1989 that prohibits corporal punishment. Select Committee consideration provides the opportunity for broad public consultation if that is what the Committee decides.

Ms Parata’s proposal will make it illegal for schools and ECE services to use seclusion, which is defined as the practice of a student being involuntarily placed alone in a room at any time or for any duration, from which they cannot freely exit or believe they cannot freely exit. Seclusion in the form of solitary confinement is already prohibited under early childhood regulations. The proposed legislation will include ECE services to ensure consistency across the education sector.

“It’s important to note that seclusion is not the same as ‘time out’, where a student voluntarily takes themselves to an agreed space or unlocked room, like a sensory room, to calm down; or when a teacher prompts a disruptive student to work in another space,” says Ms Parata.

“The Secretary of Education has today sent a letter to all schools to make our expectation clear that no school should be using seclusion.

“Parents and I have to trust that schools are providing safe, inclusive learning environments for every child and young person, and we know that most schools do a good job of this. In instances where a student exhibits violent or extremely disruptive behaviour, it’s important that other students and teachers are protected and that learning can continue to happen.”


To support this, the Ministry of Education has been working with a cross-sector Advisory Group to develop Guidance for New Zealand Schools on Behaviour Management to Minimise Physical Restraint.

“The proposed legislation will make seclusion illegal only in schools and ECE services,” says Ms Parata.

“There are times when involuntary detention is necessary and lawful in other environments outside of school, when undertaken with appropriate checks and balances. For example, in youth justice and mental health jurisdictions.

“However, the use of seclusion in schools and ECE services is no longer appropriate at any time. There are significant physical and psychological risks in placing a child alone in a room from which they cannot freely exit. It also presents serious health and safety risks in the event of an emergency such as a fire. These are risks we cannot allow at any school or ECE service.

“The Ministry of Education is in the process of finalising a survey of all schools to determine the number that use seclusion. I am assured by the results so far that the issue is not widespread. The Ministry will work with any school that needs help to put in place safer and more inclusive and effective ways of managing challenging behaviour,” says Ms Parata.

The guidance and the Secretary of Education’s letter to schools can be found here.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: on the inquiry into the abuse of children in care

Apparently, PM Jacinda Ardern has chosen to exclude faith-based institutions from the government’s promised inquiry into the abuse of children in state care.

Any role for religious institutions – eg the Catholic Church – would be only to observe and to learn from any revelations that arise from the inquiry’s self-limiting focus on state-run institutions… More

 

Gordon Campbell: On Jim Anderton
For anyone born after 1975, it is hard to grasp just how important a figure Jim Anderton was, for an entire generation.
During the mid to late 1980s, Anderton was the only significant public figure of resistance to the Labour government’s headlong embrace of Thatcherism...More>>

ALSO:


Gong Time: New Year's Honours List

Jacinda Ardern today congratulated the 179 New Zealanders named on the 2018 New Year’s Honours List.

“Although this list was compiled and completed by the last government, it is a pleasure to welcome in the New Year by recognising exceptional New Zealanders,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“As an Aunty, I love reading books to my nieces, so it’s lovely to congratulate Joy Cowley, who is made a member of the Order of New Zealand today....More
Full list


Roads: National launches bid to save highway projects

The National Party has launched a series of petitions aimed at saving regional highway projects at risk because of the Government’s obsession with Auckland trams…More>>

ALSO:


Medical Cannabis: Bill Introduced to “ease suffering”

Health Minister Dr David Clark says making medicinal cannabis more readily available will help relieve the suffering of people who are dying in pain More>>

ALSO:

Campbell: On The Quest For Zero Net Carbon Emissions
Some would querulously ask, zero net carbon emissions by 2050 – while others would say, why not?
More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: The Further Fraying Of The Welfare Safety Net

New Zealand’s welfare system has undergone a major transformation during the past three decades. This process has seriously thwarted the original intent of the system, which was to provide a decent standard of living for all New Zealanders in times of need... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages