Thursday, November 03, 2016

A good move

The government is explicitly banning schools from using "seclusion rooms":

Seclusion will be outlawed following worrying cases where teachers locked autistic children in rooms alone for hours at a time.

Education Minister Hekia Parata said she planned to make the use of seclusion in schools illegal and release guidance, developed by an advisory group, so schools had a clear understanding of how to deal with challenging behaviour.

The majority of schools had good practices in place for managing challenging behaviour of a small number of students in a safe and inclusive way, Parata said, adding that dealing with this behaviour 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."

Good, but given that Parata was first advised of this problem last year, you have to wonder why she took so long to act on it - and how many children were tortured by their schools as a result of her inaction.