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

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


Gordon Campbell: On Reforming Parliament’s Toxic Culture

It would be nice to think Parliament was a forum where rationality ruled – and where policies are raised and evaluated in terms of their contribution to the greater good. Obviously, it isn’t like that... More>>

Historic Assualt Allegation: Parliamentary Service Staff Member Stood Down
Rt Hon Trevor Mallard said today: “I do not want to cut across any employment or possible police investigations, but I am satisfied that the Parliamentary Service has removed a threat to the safety of women working in the Parliamentary complex." More>>


 

Budget: New Service For Young People Leaving Care

The Wellbeing Budget contains funding to build a new nation-wide Transition Support Service which is expected to help around 3,000 young people over the next four years after it starts on July 1. More>>

ALSO:

Children's Commissioner: Too Many Youths On Remand In Secure Facilities

It is unacceptable that young people are being remanded to youth detention facilities on charges that have not been proven, Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft says. More>>

ALSO:

Media Fund: New Alliance For Local Democracy Reporting

The pilot will see eight journalists recruited to provide local democracy news to a wide array of media. Funding will come from the RNZ /NZ On Air Innovation Fund, a one-off $6m fund announced last year. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Coal’s Negative Message To The School Protest

As schoolkids around the world commited to another round of protest action against climate change, the re-election of (a) the Morrison government in Australia and (b) the Modi government in India have been a kick in the teeth for future generations. More>>

ALSO:

Fatal 2018 Crash: Police Officer Should Not Have Engaged In Pursuit

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that a Police officer should not have tried to stop or pursue a car thought to contain young people in Palmerston North on 28 May 2018. More>>

ALSO:

New Poverty Targets: Goals Overlook 174000 Children In Worst Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group is pleased to see the Government set ambitious 10-year targets for child poverty reduction, but we are disappointed not to see a target set for improving thousands of young lives where the worst of poverty is found. More>>

ALSO:

Study: Guidelines Needed To Avoid Risks In Government AI

New Zealand is a world leader in government algorithm use – but measures are needed to guard against their dangers. This is the conclusion of a New Zealand Law Foundation-funded report from the University of Otago’s Artificial Intelligence and Law in New Zealand Project. More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Families Welcome Opening Of Drift

The group representing 29 of the Pike River Families - the Pike River Family Reference Group - has welcomed the unsealing of the mine at a private family event this morning... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels