Dec 21, 2019, BBC: School seclusion 'could have damaging effects' https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-50865968 The body representing social workers has called for stronger guidelines on when restraint and seclusion can be used in NI schools. The British Association of Social Workers Northern Ireland (BASWNI) said the practices could have damaging effects on children. The children's commissioner also previously called for stricter laws. The Department of Education has said incidents involving the use of reasonable force must be recorded. … However, the recording of such incidents by schools is not a legal obligation. The children's commissioner in Scotland has recently provided definitions of both practices. Seclusion Seclusion in schools is the "confinement of a child, without their consent, by shutting them alone in a room or other area which they are prevented from leaving". … Restraint is holding a pupil, or using mechanical restraints to prevent or restrict them from moving…. However, BASWNI said it was concerned at the relative lack of standardised guidelines in Northern Ireland, particularly with regard to children with special educational needs (SEN). McClenaghan said there should be new guidance for schools… The Alliance Party's education spokesperson, Chris Lyttle, also called for new "robust guidelines". "Accounts of the inappropriate restraint and seclusion of pupils with additional needs are profoundly concerning and demand accountability and action," he said. … The Scottish government has recently agreed to develop stronger guidance on the use of restraint and seclusion in schools.