Physical Restraint Information and Guidelines


At KingsGate School we follow the most up-to-date guidelines on the use of "physical restraint"  and reducing student distress. You can view our policy below. You can also view it as NAG 6.6 on our School Policies page. 

KingsGate School Physical Restraint Policy

Policy Statement

The KingsGate School Board is committed to ensuring staff and student well being is at the heart of our policies and procedures, while ensuring inclusive practices and a safe physical and emotional environment is provided for all. Therefore, the KingsGate School School Board, in line with the procedures set out in the “Education (Physical Restraint) Rules 2023”, allows teachers or authorised staff members to use physical restraint only as a last resort to ensure the safety of students and staff in accordance with the rules and guidelines.

Definition of Physical Restraint

The Education and Training Act 2020 defines physical restraint as “...using physical force to prevent, restrict, or subdue the movement of a student’s body or part of the student’s body”. Therefore in accordance with the Act’s definition and in compliance with section 139A,  KingsGate School prohibits the use of force (inclusive of corporal punishment) against any student as defined by the Act.


To reduce student distress and the use of physical restraints that has regard to the guidelines issued by the secretary for Education under section 101 of the Act.

To protect the well-being of staff and students.

To provide guidelines for the use of physical restraint when it is seen as a last resort.

To provide staff with guidelines and ideas for de-escalating serious situations.

To record any incidents of physical restraint and provide for debriefing of these incidents.

To provide a clear pathway for complaints.

To monitor the emotional impact of such an event on staff and students.


If any student, parent or caregiver is dissatisfied with the way an incident has been handled, they are encouraged to follow the school’s complaints’ procedure.

Note on Seclusion

Seclusion is when a student is involuntarily placed alone in a room, at any time or for any duration, from which they cannot freely exit. Even if the door is not locked or blocked, there may be a level of authority or coercion which leads the student to believe that they cannot exit the room.

Seclusion is not the same as the use of timeout. Timeout can be when a student is asked to leave an activity or area because of their behavior and go to another specified area where they must stay until told they can return. Timeout can also be when a student voluntarily takes themselves to an agreed space. With timeout, the room is not locked, and although the student may well understand that they should stay there, they also realise that they can leave the room at any time if they so choose. The point is that the student has a choice about whether to comply or not.

Seclusion is not to be used at KingsGate School.


Ministry of Education Documents

 As per the Ministry of Education requirements please find the most up to date Ministry documents on the use of physical restraint below.

A guide to understanding distress and minimising the use of physical restraint
Aramai He Tētēkura – A guide to prevent
Adobe Acrobat Document 12.9 MB


Education (Physical Restraint) Rules 2023
Education (Physical Restraint) Rules 202
Adobe Acrobat Document 392.1 KB



The Ministry of Education guidelines state the following: "Teachers are automatically authorized to use physical restraint, this includes principals, relief teachers and those with a Limited Authority to Teach, as a last resort to prevent imminent harm." 


Therefore the following teachers are permitted to use physical restraint under the above conditions.

Mr Stein, Miss Tetley-Jones, Mrs van Dam, Mrs Lawson, Mr Adams, Mr Clark, Mr Gatehouse, Mr Muller, Mrs Joubert, Mrs Hegan, Mrs Were, Ms Yelchich, Mrs Pointon, Mrs Farely, Mrs Muller, Mrs Burgess, Mrs Hechter, Mr Stoddart,  Mrs Spears and Mrs Forbes.

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