Reported by BBC News – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.

Campaigners have called for stricter rules around the use of restraint and seclusion in schools.

Enable Scotland said the current system was putting children at risk of physical and psychological harm.

It wants more staff who are trained in supporting positive behaviours in classrooms following 2,674 incidents reported incidents last year.

The Scottish government said it was investing £15m in additional support for learning assistants.

According to Enable, which provides advocacy for people with learning disabilities, children in Scotland are often put at risk due to unregulated, unsupported and unacceptable practices in schools – with limited routes of redress for parents.

Its latest report, In Safe Hands? claimed the current system denied children their rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Enable said Scotland’s local authorities recorded 2,674 incidents of restraint and seclusion relating to 386 children during 2017/2018.

But it added that the figure did not paint the picture, as 10 out of 32 local authorities failed to provide data.

‘I was made to feel like I was imagining things’

Daniel Gourlay from Inverness was five years old when he was first physically restrained at school by his teachers.

Now 12, and with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) disorder, his mum Barbara said she has lost count of the number of times he has been restrained.

She said: “I knew that something wasn’t quite right with Daniel when he was about 18 months old. I have two older children and as a mum I just knew, but healthcare professionals made me feel like I was imagining things saying instead that he was going through the terrible twos or had separation anxiety.

“His dad died when he was five, so it coincided with the trauma he felt then too – but still I knew and yet no one listened.”




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