The Scottish government have committed to producing guidance on restraint and seclusion in schools

Last year, an investigation by the Scottish Children and Young People’s Commissioner found that the use of restraint and seclusion on pupils across Scotland was largely unmonitored and inconsistent. The Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland (EHRC) and Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland have worked alongside the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney, and the Scottish Government have agreed to the following:

  • To produce guidance on restraint and seclusion and review the effectiveness of that guidance.
  • Involve children, young people and their families in drafting and reviewing the guidance.
  • Consider statutory action should guidance prove ineffective.
  • Develop and introduce a standard dataset to be implemented across Scotland to ensure consistent recording and monitoring of incidents.

You can read the full statement from EHRC and Children and Young Peoples Commissioner Scotland (CCYP) here and you can also read the report by CCYP here.

Vivien Cooper, Chief Executive of the Challenging Behaviour Foundation said:

‘This is an example of families identifying a serious issue and charities and officials working in partnership with them to drive forward change that will protect children from harm. We are pleased that the Scottish government has committed to producing guidance on restraint and seclusion and developing a dataset to ensure accurate recording and monitoring of incidents. We hope that England, Wales and Northern Ireland will now follow suit and take necessary action to ensure that the rights of children and young people are upheld across the UK.’

Beth Morrison, Family Carer and Founder and CEO of PABSS, and Kate Sanger, Family Carer and co-founder of PABSS said:

‘The announcements from the Scottish government this week are credit to the bravery of all those families who have shared their experiences of restraint and seclusion in schools. We will be closely monitoring progress against these commitments to ensure they are delivered as soon as possible.’

Elly Chapple, Family Carer and co-founder of CanDoElla said:

‘We know that there are alternative positive ways to support children and young people that deliver good outcomes for both children and staff. Working together across education, health and social care and with families we can ensure that all children are well supported and given the opportunity they deserve to thrive and develop.’


If you are worried that what your child or adult has experienced was inappropriate or if it caused them injuries, please contact CBF Family Support on 0300 666 0126 or You may wish to read these frequently asked questions about safeguarding or visit the restraint and seclusion page on our website. Also see this list of support organisations that may be able to help.

The CBF and PABSS co-chair the Reducing Restrictive Interventions- Safeguarding Children and Young People (RRISC). Our key messages and further details of the work of the group can be accessed here.

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