News Section

CQC to review the use of restraint, prolonged seclusion and segregation for people with mental health problems, a learning disability and/or autism

Written by George Matthews

The CQC will review and make recommendations about the use of restrictive interventions in settings that provide inpatient and residential care for people with mental health problems, a learning disability and/or autism. The review has been commissioned by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock. The CQC will take forward this work and will report on its interim findings in May 2019, with a full report by March 2020.

Supporting Students who are at Risk of Exclusion

Written by George Matthews

A child or young person who is on the Special Educational Needs (SEN) register without an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is over six times more likely to be permanently excluded than a child or young person with no identified SEND (DFE data 2016 – 17). Although the reasons behind these exclusions may be complex and different for each ‘SEN Support’ child, each school should use its ‘best endeavours’ to effectively support the child’s needs and take these difficulties into account when considering exclusion. For example, an estimated 36% of children and young people with learning disabilities experience mental health problems – this is compared with 8% among children without disabilities (NICE mental health scoping document, 2012).

'Hundreds of pupils spend week in school isolation booths'

Written by George Matthews

The issue of the use of isolation has hit the press. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-46044394 Bernard Allen (Training Consultant & Expert Witness (Liability) has provided the following advice for TT trainers and services: "What that the press and TV reports did not seem to realise is that the guidance is at fault here. We have also had the legal judgement regarding the legality of excluding children with special needs over the summer and that is likely to bring questions from tutors. The key points are:"

DfE Report: Mental health and wellbeing provision in schools

Written by George Matthews

 

Recently the DfE published a research project on the information schools provide to support their pupils’ wellbeing and mental health. The report uses a sample to assess activities and approaches adopted in different schools to help schools promote pupil wellbeing. The report findings will be used by the DfE to further understand how it can assist schools to meet their legal obligations in the future to support mental health and wellbeing in school communities. 

From the sample, five primary schools used Team Teach to train staff in de-escalation and positive handling techniques for children and young people’s services. Team Teach was referenced in the report as a key provider of “evidence informed programmes involving whole-school approaches and/or staff training within the behavioural and anti-bullying policies that were aimed at establishing positive learning environments”.

Greater Protection for Children with Disabilities

Written by George Matthews

‘Thousands of children with disabilities will now have more legal protection against schools excluding them. This follows a landmark case involving the parents of a teenager with autism. Solicitor Polly Sweeney: the decision will give disabled children the “same safeguards, protections and rights” as other pupils