Hundreds of children have been injured while being physically restrained in special schools, according to figures obtained by Radio 5 live Investigates.

Physical Intervention TrainingSome youngsters were pinned face-down on the floor, while others were strapped into chairs.

The figures revealed at least 731 injuries in the past three years.

A Freedom of Information request to local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales revealed 13,000 physical restraints in the past three years, resulting in 731 injuries.

But less than a fifth of authorities were able to provide the data - with most saying they didn't keep the information.

That suggests the true number of injuries caused by restraint in special schools is far higher.

  • In England, only nine out of 153 local authorities provided the BBC with figures. Of those that did, there were 6,262 reports of restraints, resulting in 360 injuries in the past three years
  • In Scotland, 17 out of 32 local authorities provided data, reporting 4,383 restraints and 157 injuries
  • In Wales, 11 out of 22 local authorities provided data, reporting 2,182 restraints and 214 injuries
  • The Education Authority of Northern Ireland told the BBC they did not hold the information

The Local Government Association said it takes safeguarding responsibilities "extremely seriously" but "the current system works on the basis that schools…have the primary responsibility".

They added that "where a specific safeguarding incident is raised, councils will act".

Risk manager Lee Hollins says, “Ultimately the answer to this is don’t physical restrain the person. This isn’t to say turn a blind eye or let the person engage in challenging behaviour unchecked. It is to say staff need to respond skilfully and mindfully. To do this they need to know how to stay calm and manage their own emotions. The need to understand the value of being  patient and moving forward with a goal of resolving things and not winning or besting the other person. It is about having concrete strategies, ideally person-centred ones, to explore and maintaining insight on their relative success and you progress. If there is no other alternative and a physical intervention is required to prevent immediate harm what staff need is an approved technique and an awareness of risk and how to manage it as it develops dynamically. Only then can you hope to avoid terrible outcomes such as that highlighted in the recent case...”

SecuriCare offer a range of courses designed to ensure that nominated trainers can help staff to respond safely and effectively to any ‘Challenging Behaviour’ that may occur, including the application of ‘Physical Interventions techniques’. All programmes are finalised after full training needs analysis and delivered by experienced frontline practitioners. Click to see our ‘Preventing & Managing Challenging Behaviour’ Course which includes ‘Positive Behaviour Management’ techniques designed to minimise the need for any kind of restrictive intervention. You can also take a look at our person centred Behaviour Planning Service.

Contact us for more information and to discuss your needs: E: or T: 01904 492442

Click for the full story from the BBC