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Hamilton Junior High School

Restraint Policy

Hamilton Junior High School Board of Trustees endeavours to provide a safe physical and emotional environment for students and staff. Seclusion is not to be used to manage challenging behaviour. Physical restraint is to be avoided and used as a last resort only.


To provide staff members with education, support and resources to avoid physical restraint
towards students at Hamilton Junior High School.


This policy applies to all staff.


1. As seclusion has the potential to be traumatic for those involved, no student is to be secluded
at Hamilton Junior High School.

2. Physical restraint has legal risks if a student is harmed. More importantly, it can have negative
emotional and physical effects on the student.

3. Staff are able to exercise physical restraint if there is an imminent risk to safety. Examples of this situation are:

  • A student is moving in with a weapon or something that could be used as a weapon , and is clearly intent on using violence towards another person.

  • A student is physically attacking another person, or is about to.

  • A student is throwing furniture or breaking glass close to where it could injure others

  • A student is putting themselves in danger e.g a student from running onto a road.

The physical restraint must be reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances:

  • Use the minimum force necessary to respond to the serious and imminent risk to safety.

  • Use physical restraint only for as long as is needed to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

4. For students who are showing regular high risk behaviour, an individualised plan will be created
to assist those working with the student. The student’s guardian will have involvement with this
plan, having input into effective de-escalation techniques.

5. If a student needs to be restrained, staff need to notify the Principal or Deputy Principal as soon
as possible. All incidences of physical restraint will then be entered into the MOE database
(unless an Individual Behaviour Plan is in place). Parents must also be informed. The Principal
will inform the Board of Trustees of all instances of restraint.

6. Staff are to refer to the document “Guidance for NZ schools on Behaviour Management to
Minimise Physical Restraint” (MoE 2017).

Related policies:

Surrender and Retention Policy

Child Protection and Wellbeing Policy

Stand down, Suspension and Exclusion Policy

Guidelines for Registered Schools in New Zealand on the Use of Physical Restraint 2017 (Ministry of Education) www.education.govt.nz

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