Move to outlaw seclusion rooms overdue

Media release – 3 November 2016

IHC welcomes the Ministry of Education’s move today to outlaw school seclusion rooms and continues to advocate for individualised responses to each child’s needs, with schools having more support and direction.

“Essentially such a law change has the same level of substance as those that banned corporal punishment in 1989. So this highlights the importance between giving a child some time and space to calm down, and locking them in a room alone,” says Trish Grant, IHC Director of Advocacy.
“It’s time all students and parents were treated with respect. Punishments need to be in line with effective disability or behaviour support, and plans must be set up by the school and family in partnership. 

“We will be watching as the Government develops this new law closely,” she says.
IHC has backed the concurrent Ombudsman’s investigation into seclusion rooms and continues to offer its involvement on the investigation panel.

Since 2008, IHC has been in legal action against the Ministry of Education to ensure all children with disabilities get a fair go at school, are welcomed and have a safe learning environment in which to achieve.