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YouthLaw on the Seclusion Room Issue

YouthLaw on the Seclusion Room Issue

Vanushi Walters – General Manager YouthLaw Aotearoa says

“While YouthLaw welcomes the announcement from Minister Parata that we will see legislative change making the use of seclusion rooms illegal, a chief concern for YouthLaw is how this practice was either permitted or went under the radar for so long beyond a period of time when it might have been considered acceptable practice.

What this highlights for us are two issues

Firstly the absence of an appropriate accountability framework through which decisions that have a significant impact on students can be tested, including an Independent Education Review Authority which would provide an accessible check on the system when families experience issues and more thorough monitoring and review of school disciplinary procedures.

Secondly the question of whether schools are appropriately funded and supported to provide a meaningful education to children with special education needs and if adequate support isn’t in place, which we do not believe it is, how this support will change in a sufficient and systematic way going forward.

The timing to consider these issues is ideal as there is currently an Education Bill open to public submissions until 11 November. We are also heading into an election year and need to make sure we ask for political commitment around the changes we’d like to see in Education. At the end of the day we have to ask ourselves, is it ok that the Education of our children remains an area of public life that goes largely unchecked? Surely we owe it not only to our kids but to the hard working schools and teachers who support their learning to invest in a more robust education sector.”

ends

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