Dealing with children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN), as with any children, can be challenging. Physical restraint, however, should only be used in situations with no alternative.
Working with many parents of children with SEN this is an issue which is raised all too often. Restraint isn't limited to children and young people with SEN, however, it does seem prevalent in special schools, particularly those catering for Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs.
More should be done to deal with the underlying issues which lead children to the behaviours requiring restraint. There needs to be a full understanding of the child/young person's needs to avoid these situations wherever possible.
Hopefully better record keeping will allow for a full analysis and better understanding of the issue.
The 5 live investigation found less than one fifth of local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales held any data about the use of restraint in special schools in their area. • In England, only nine out of 153 local authorities provided the BBC with figures. Of those that did, there were 6,262 reports of restraints, resulting in 360 injuries in the past three years • In Scotland, 17 out of 32 local authorities provided data, reporting 4,383 restraints and 157 injuries • In Wales, 11 out of 22 local authorities provided data, reporting 2,182 restraints and 214 injuries • The Education Authority of Northern Ireland told the BBC they did not hold the information The Local Government Association said it takes safeguarding responsibilities "extremely seriously" but "the current system works on the basis that schools…have the primary responsibility".