School operations

Restraint and Seclusion

The principal behaviour support adviser

The Principal Behaviour Support Adviser (PBSA) is responsible for:

  • identifying and monitoring changes in requirements and obligations in relation to restraint and seclusion of students
  • providing advice to schools, and supporting their compliance, via policies, guidelines, and professional development
  • monitoring and reviewing the operation of management mechanisms across schools and the department
  • identifying actual or potential non-compliance.

The PBSA provides reports to department executives and the department committee tasked with overseeing physical restraint and seclusion.

The PBSA’s responsibilities allow the PBSA to:

  • request information from area or regional staff about actions taken in response to physical restraint or seclusion reports by schools. In the case of an investigation into a physical restraint or seclusion incident, the PBSA or delegate will inform the school principal and SEIL of all activities underway or planned.
  • contact or enter a school upon forming a reasonable opinion that a student may be, or may have been previously, subject to a restrictive practice. Prior to visiting a school, the PBSA will advise the principal of his/her intention and make reasonable attempts to visit at a mutually suitable time.
  • review and take copies of any document which relates to the support of a student or the use of a restrictive practice
  • talk to any member of school staff involved in the support of a student that has or may have been restrained or secluded.

The PBSA and data


  • produces restraint and seclusion data reports
  • provides data to regional directors and executive directors school support
  • discusses restraint and seclusion data with regional executive teams upon invitation
  • liaises with inclusion, access and participation managers on restraint and seclusion data and regional initiatives
  • provides advice and assistance to area executive directors and senior education improvement leaders to address restraint and seclusion practices in schools.

The PBSA will access physical restraint and seclusion data through eduSafe Plus.

The data may influence policy, programs for students and the provision of professional development for schools.

The PBSA may choose to investigate anomalies or trends in restraint and seclusion data at any time. This includes data that differs significantly from other observations and any upwards or downwards changes in a data.

Analysis of this data – state, region, area, network, school, and student levels – will be provided to the department committee tasked with overseeing restraint and seclusion as well as regional directors and executive directors school support.

Physical restraint and seclusion data may be provided to independent external agencies.

Referral to the PBSA

The Incident Support and Operations Centre (ISOC) may refer a report of an incident of physical restraint or seclusion to the PBSA for advice or consultation for one or more of the following concerns:

  • high severity rated incidents which may or may not include physical restraint or seclusion
  • high or low volume reports
  • incorrect reporting of physical restraint or seclusion.

ISOC may also refer patterns of reporting which raise concern to the PBSA for advice or consultation.

Area or regional teams may refer any report of physical restraint or seclusion to the PBSA for advice or consultation for one or more of the following concerns:

  • compliance with the policy and guidelines
  • high or low volume reports
  • interpretation and/or application of policy and guidelines
  • complex student support arrangements.

It is the responsibility of all other department business units to inform the PBSA of repeated or unreported incidents of physical restraint or seclusion as soon as practicable.

Members of the general public, parent/carers of current and past students and external stakeholders may refer concerns about compliance with the Restraint and Seclusion Policy using the department’s complaints processExternal Link .

The PBSA is not obliged to accept every request for advice or discussion. In the case of not accepting a referral, the PBSA will assist the person making the request in redirecting their inquiry to a more appropriate business unit.

Guidance chapter detailing the role of the principal behaviour support adviser

Reviewed 25 July 2023

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