*** (UK) UK schools 'CONSTANTLY' restrain DISABLED students; necessary for 'safe' schools

Mar 2, 2019, Independent: Disabled children ‘constantly’ physically restrained and left with bruises and trauma, parents say Children with learning disabilities and complex needs have been physically restrained in school as much as 80 times in just three months, leaving them injured and traumatised, parents say. A 12-year-old boy with sensory processing disorder, autism and ADHD was restrained “constantly” at a special school in Essex for up to five hours at a time, his mother told The Independent. Lucy, mother of Ellis, said he would come back from school with bruises all over his body after being pinned down and he would hide in the garage because the experience had left him terrified. “Because of his sensory disorder, touch is Ellis’ biggest trigger. So you just don’t touch him. Before he went to that school, he had never had to be resained in his life,” she said. … “It is hard enough raising a child like Ellis without the added worry of people who should be caring for him constantly traumatising him,” Lucy said. “I am so worried about the damage this has done.” The families say a lack of clear guidance has led to some schools using restraint often against children with special education needs and disabilities despite there being no risk of serious harm. … She told The Independent: “What worried us what the intensity of the restraints and the fact she was being restrained very often.” During one incident, she was held by eight members of staff and four more watched on. After multiple restraints, Abi then began to self-harm at school and she threatened to run in front of cars and throw herself down the flights of stairs. The now 15-year-old was then excluded as she was taking up “too many resources”, Becky said. “Schools are using restraint too often. These children are not naughty children. They are children with disabilities. It just seems to be a way of working with children that is just so wrong,” she added. And funding pressures could be leading to a rise in the number of special schools opting for restraint amid larger class sizes and reduced one-to-one support, the National Education Union (NEU) says. … The government consulted last year on draft guidelines on reducing the need for restraint for young people with SEND in health and social care services, as well as special schools. A Department for Education (DfE) spokesperson said they are currently considering responses. But they added: “Schools need to be safe and calm environments, with effective behaviour management policies and approaches that meet the needs of pupils. “At times, it may be necessary to use reasonable force to restrain a pupil, for example to break up a fight in order to protect teachers and other pupils.”