CALM offers some observations on the response of the Scottish Government to the issues raised in No Safe Place; the report arising from the investigation into the use of restraint and seclusion in Scotland’s schools authored by the Children’s and Young Peoples Commissioner for Scotland (CYPCS)
The Scottish Government response of 1st of February is not definitive, rather it offers a series of opinions and observations, stating that any future actions will be informed by the results of an ongoing consultation exercise, limiting its response to the 9 recommendations the minister views as applying to them.
A number of significant commitments are however made:
- ‘Included, Engaged and Involved Part 2’ will be reviewed and revised where necessary to address the recommendations for improved guidance. Specific areas to be addressed include:
- clarifying definitions of restraint and seclusion.
- the protection and promotion of universal Human Rights.
- the appropriate use of seclusion and separation.
- emphasizing the legal and ethical framework surrounding the use of physical interventions.
- Scottish Government will liaise with local authorities regarding compliance with existing guidance specifically ‘Included Supported and Engaged Part 2’ in order to identify what further support might be needed to support its implementation
- Scottish Government will liaise with local authorities regarding how improved reporting might be achieved at a local and national level.
However, notable for their absence, are any commitments to a number of areas which CALM believe continue to require urgent action. These include:
- mandating access to reflective supervision for teaching staff who support children whose distress may present as challenging behaviour. Something CALM believe is absolutely vital.
- mandating debriefs following any involvement in the use of seclusion or restraint.
- the introduction of a mandatory accreditation scheme for training providers.
CALM will continue to lobby both the CYPCS and the Scottish Government for full implementation of the CYPCS report and the further action CALM consider necessary to achieve the following outcomes:
- to ensure that the use of restraint and seclusion are minimised.
- that staff supporting children whose distress may present as behaviour that challenges are well supported.
- that both children and teachers are safe in Scotland’s schools.