School operations

Restraint and Seclusion

Reflect on, review and learn from the physical restraint or seclusion incident

Reflect and review

It is the principal’s responsibility to review each incident of physical restraint and seclusion as appropriate depending on the severity of an incident. A review may require the principal to liaise with area or regional workforces, participate in, and support, a school-based review, liaise with external agencies and ensure response actions are implemented.

The purpose of reflecting on, and reviewing, a physical restraint or seclusion incident is to reduce the risk of such occurrences happening in the future and/or identifying new strategies or interventions, not to apportion blame or to discipline students or staff.

A structured process that reviews the actions taken during an incident can reduce the use of restrictive practices.

It is suggested that a review take place between 3 and 5 working days of an incident. Refer to: Guide for Conducting a School-Based ReviewExternal Link .

Staff involved in the incident, including witnesses, must be involved in the school-based review.

If appropriate, the student must also be involved, asked how they would like to contribute and who they would like present at the review. If appropriate, parents/carers of the student/s can be invited to participate.

A review of student behaviour that has caused physical harm (to the student or someone else) and necessitated the use of physical restraint or seclusion must address the underlying cause or purpose of the student’s behaviour.

Planning for the future

Following a school-based review school staff will be in a good position to make informed decisions about whether to:

  • develop or modify risk management, safety, behaviour support plans
  • develop school-wide positive and preventative strategies
  • modify or intensify support for individual student/s
  • source training and support to assist staff working closely with student/s.

If the school is finding it increasingly difficult to meet the needs of students and if difficult incidents are occurring more frequently, the principal may need to seek support from Student Support Services or their Health and Wellbeing Key Contact.

Guidance chapter on ways to review and learn from the physical restraint or seclusion incident

Reviewed 25 July 2023

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