Physical Restraint & Seclusion Policy 2022-06-01T13:02:12+00:00




The safety and protection of children and staff is at the heart of this protocol. Seclusion and the use of physical restraint is to be avoided.


To ensure that staff members are given the support and resources to de-escalate and avoid situations requiring physical restraint and/ or seclusion.


  1. Seclusion is isolation in a space from which a student cannot voluntarily exit.
  2. Physical restraint is used as a last resort in response to a serious or imminent risk to safety.


  1. Staff need to use their professional judgment when they decide to use physical restraint. They should consider their duty of care to students, their right to protect themselves and others from harm, and their obligation to act lawfully.
  2. If a student continues to exercise high risk behavior, then an Individual Behaviour Plan will be written to assist those working with the child. The Plan will involve the child’s parent / guardian and outline preventative and de-escalation strategies that will prevent the need for physical restraint.
  3. Relevant staff will be trained to effectively minimize the need for physical restraint. Training is available from the Ministry of Education.
  4. If a student is restrained then the staff member involved is to advise the principal or deputy principal as soon as possible. Parents should also be informed.
  5. Staff members are to refer to the document “Guidance for New Zealand Schools on Behaviour Management to Minimise Physical Restraint.” (MoE 2017)
  6. All incidents involving restraint of a child will be reported to the child’s parents.  The Ministry of Education and the BoT will also be advised using the appropriate referral form unless there is an Individual Behaviour Plan in place for the child.