Teachers union welcomes calls for increased support

The EIS welcomed a call from a key children’s rights body for more support for teachers who are confronted with challenging behaviour from pupils at school.

A report criticising the use of “ungoverned” and 'potentially illegal use of restraint and seclusion' taking place in Scottish schools has been welcomed by the largest Scottish teaching union, the EIS after it called for increased training and support for Scottish teachers confronted with difficult behaviours from children at school.

Bruce Adamson, the report's author stated that: “We are deeply concerned that significant physical interventions may be taking place without any kind of policy or procedure at local authority level to ensure the lawful and rights-compliant treatment of children."

“We don’t have confidence in how many incidents of restraint and seclusion are taking place, which children are most affected or how they are being dealt with. We are also concerned that the Scottish government hasn’t done enough to provide clear direction to local authorities to make sure we have a consistent reporting across the country.”

Currently four out of the 32 local authorities in Scotland do not have a set policy on the use of restraint and seclusion.

Commenting on the report an EIS spokesperson said: “We welcome the Children’s Commissioner’s call for national guidelines and standards, and, much more critically, training and support for teachers, on physical interventions with pupils."

“Schools are increasingly diverse learning communities, seeking to meet the needs of children with multiple and often complex needs which can be expressed through distressed behaviour that can be dangerous to themselves, their peers and staff."

“When all attempts to de-escalate distressed behaviour have been made but have been unsuccessful, it is reasonable to judge that the child and others would benefit from them being away from the environment in which the distressed behaviour occurred. Sometimes, in the interests of the wellbeing of the child and others, this will mean that they may have to be safely removed."

“Dealing with these situations is incredibly difficult, and puts teachers under a lot of pressure, and increasingly so in the context of cuts to education budgets. Teachers, schools and young people need much more support."

"Schools need to be resourced sufficiently to create nurturing spaces, and with the requisite numbers of highly skilled teaching and support staff to meet the needs of children requiring additional support, including those whose behaviour is distressed and which can present risk to self and others. With the current child mental health crisis unfolding this need is more pressing now than ever.”

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