Getting a physical restraint policy

Under the new physical restraint rules, all registered schools must have a policy on reducing student distress and the use of physical restraint by 7 May 2023.   

The Ministry is responsible for developing strategic policy for the education sector as a whole, so it can’t provide assistance in the development of individual school’s policies. However, under New Zealand law, School Boards are responsible for the development and implementation of school policies.  

We encourage School Boards to start developing their school policies on reducing student distress and the use of physical restraint now, so that they have a policy in place by 7 May 2023.   

If your school needs help to develop a policy, you can get it through NZSTA (who provide support directly to School Boards) and SchoolDocs (who support the 1800 schools that are signed up to SchoolDocs).   

  • NZSTA will provide School Boards with information (including a sample policy) and assistance to complete their school policies on 5 April 2023. Boards can also access NZSTA’s Resource Centre(external link) and its Advisory Support Centre on 0800 782 435. 
  • From 24 March, schools who are signed up to SchoolDocs will be able to access a draft policy (personalised to their school) via the SchoolDocs website. 

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