education.vic.gov.au

School operations

Restraint and Seclusion

Use of physical restraint and seclusion

Physical restraint and seclusion are only permitted within Victorian government schools where they are immediately required to protect the safety of a student or another person.

If you apply physical restraint or seclusion, you must:

  • take reasonable steps to ensure the immediate safety, health and wellbeing of the student/s and anyone else involved
  • ensure that a member of staff can always observe a student in seclusion and be available immediately to enter the space if necessary (for instance, to administer first aid or remove objects in the student’s possession that could be used to harm themselves)
  • where reasonably practicable school staff should talk to the student being restrained throughout the incident, explain why the physical restraint or seclusion is being applied and that the physical restraint or seclusion will stop once it is no longer necessary to protect the student and/or others
  • consider that a history of suicidal ideation or self-harm should preclude the use of seclusion on a balance of risk.

Physical restraint and seclusion must be discontinued immediately where:

  • the student who is the subject of the physical restraint or seclusion says they cannot breathe, vomits, is showing signs of physical or serious psychological distress, starts to change in pallor, has a medical emergency
  • the staff member who is administering the physical restraint or seclusion reports or is observed to be injured, unwell or is for any other reason unable to continue to manage the situation safely for any reason
  • the physical restraint or seclusion is no longer necessary to prevent harm.
Guidance chapter detailing considerations for applying physical restraint or seclusion and circumstances when physical restraint and seclusion must be discontinued immediately

Reviewed 22 March 2022

Was this page helpful?