Schools: Discipline

Department for Education written question – answered on 12th February 2019.

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Photo of Ellie Reeves Ellie Reeves Labour, Lewisham West and Penge

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the use of isolation rooms in primary and secondary schools on decreasing incidences of disruptive behaviour.

Photo of Ellie Reeves Ellie Reeves Labour, Lewisham West and Penge

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of isolation rooms on pupils with learning difficulties.

Photo of Ellie Reeves Ellie Reeves Labour, Lewisham West and Penge

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the maximum amount of time that a school could decide to place a disruptive pupil in an isolation room is.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Information regarding schools’ use of isolation rooms is not held centrally. We trust schools to develop their own policies and strategies for managing disruptive behaviour according to their particular circumstances. To help schools develop effective strategies, the Department has produced advice for schools which covers what should be included in their behaviour policy, which can be viewed at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/488034/Behaviour_and_Discipline_in_Schools_-_A_guide_for_headteachers_and_School_Staff.pdf.

Schools can adopt a policy which allows disruptive pupils to be placed in isolation away from other pupils. If a school uses isolation rooms as a disciplinary penalty, this should be made clear in their behaviour policy. As with other disciplinary penalties, schools must act lawfully, reasonably and proportionately in all cases, and must take account of any special education needs or disabilities pupils placed in isolation may have. The school must also ensure the health and safety of pupils.

It is for individual schools to decide how long a pupil should be kept in isolation and for the staff member in charge to determine what pupils may and may not do during the time they are there. Schools should ensure that pupils are kept in isolation no longer than is necessary and that their time spent there is used as constructively as possible.

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