Received from: AEP
Merged into composite 17
Congress notes the increasing concerns being reported about the behaviour
and mental health of children and young people (CYP) and welcomes the recent announcement by the DfE that it is making £10m available for a behaviour network to help schools to manage their children’s behaviour.
However, there are concerns about how this money will be used given a recent
report from the BBC. It sent FOIs to 1,000 secondary schools and academies last year and received 600 responses. Two hundred of those responding had set up isolation units and they reported that 225 CYP had spent a whole week in isolation booths as a single punishment.
Being sent to an isolation booth means that the CYP are kept apart from all other CYP for the whole of the school day and are not able to participate in the usual school life.
Such sanctions infringe the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child but, in addition, many of the CYP whose behaviour leads to them being socially isolated from other children are those who do not communicate easily with others, eg those with autism and are particularly vulnerable to the deleterious effects of isolation.
Congress calls on the government to:
i. ensure that the additional monies will be used to support schools to continue
to develop effective whole-school policies that foster positive relationships
between all members of their communities
ii. give a guarantee that none of the £10m will be spent on setting up or running isolation units.
Association of Educational Psychologists