2 Oct 2016

Help us deal with violent students - teachers

1:26 pm on 2 October 2016

New guidelines to deal with violent students have been welcomed but secondary school teachers say more needs to be done.

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Photo: 123rf

Some want the legislation reviewed to give them more protection when dealing with violent incidents.

Guidelines are due to be released by the Ministry of Education in the next few weeks on how to manage the seclusion and restraint of violent students.

Secondary Principals Association executive member Patrick Walsh said teachers needed more protection when dealing with difficult, violent situations.

The two sets of guidelines due to be released next term were good, but teachers needed to feel confident when they intervened that they were doing the right thing, he said.

The current Education Act did not authorise teachers to use any physical restraint on students, Mr Walsh said.

"What a number of eductors are asking for is further protection unded the Education Act, which will actually authorise teachers to exercise restraint in those rare circumstances when they actually need to physically restrain students."

In a statement, Education Ministry deputy secretary Kim Shannon said suspensions, stand-downs and exclusions from school had reached record lows.

Officials were looking into the possibility of additional statutory protections for teachers, but in the meantime, the new guidelines would give clear advice on how to deal with violent incidents, she said.

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