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Schools: Discipline

Department for Education written question – answered on 10th March 2020.

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Photo of Bridget Phillipson Bridget Phillipson Labour, Houghton and Sunderland South

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the use of isolation booths in schools on the (a) mental health and (b) behaviour of pupils placed in those booths for disruptive behaviour.

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

The Government trusts 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. This advice can be viewed here:

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.

Existing guidance makes clear that schools can adopt a policy which allows disruptive pupils to be placed in isolation away from other pupils for a limited period. If a school uses isolation 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. The school must also ensure the health and safety of pupils. The guidance is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/behaviour-and-discipline-in-schools.

The Department does not collect or record information about schools’ use of isolation.

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