Physical intervention in schools: draft guidance

We are consulting on this draft schools guidance "Included, engaged and involved part 3" which takes a relationship and rights based approach to physical intervention in Scottish schools.

Guiding principles

19. Reflecting children's human rights, and the nurture principles[15], the key principles that should guide all policy and practice in relation to the use of physical intervention in schools and other education settings are:

  • all behaviour is communication and a child or young person's distressed behaviour may indicate unmet needs. All efforts should be made to understand and address those needs.
  • all children and young people have a right to have their views sought and taken into account.
  • all children have the right to be cared for, protected from harm and grow up in a safe environment in which their rights are respected and their needs met.
  • restraint should not be viewed as, or become, routine practice in schools. It should not form part of any behaviour, education or care plan. It should only be used:
    • within a culture that prioritises positive relationships, behaviour, wellbeing, and planned preventative approaches;
    • to avert an immediate risk of injury to the child or young person, or to others, where no less restrictive option is viable (i.e. as a last resort);
    • for the shortest time necessary and in the safest, least restrictive manner;
    • by those who are trained;
    • with care; and
    • where they do not degrade, punish or deprive a child or young person of their liberty.



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