Incidents at school

If there's an incident involving your child at school, the school will:

  • let you know as soon as they can about what happened
  • contact emergency services if your child needs medical attention
  • tell the Department what happened.

Seclusion and restraint

Sometimes staff need to use seclusion or physical restraint to keep everyone safe.

Physical restraint is stopping a person from being able move all or part of their body.

Seclusion is leaving a person alone in a room or area that they believe they cannot get out of.

Victorian government schools can only use physical restraint or seclusion when:

  • a person is about to hurt themselves or others
  • it’s what most staff would do when a person is hurting themselves or others
  • there is no other way of keeping people safe.

Staff must stop using physical restraint or seclusion when the harm or danger has gone.

If the school had to use physical restraint or seclusion they will:

  • make sure that everyone is ok
  • tell you as soon as they can about what happened and why
  • talk to you about supports you might need
  • make a behaviour support plan
  • tell the Department.

If the incident was serious, the school may:

  • stop your child from coming to school for a short time (suspension), or
  • not let your child come back to the school (expulsion).

Complain about how an incident was managed

If you're not satisfied with how your child’s school managed an incident, you can:

If you're still not satisfied you can make a complaint.


All schools have a student engagement policy. It describes the responsibilities and behaviour expectations of all students, school staff, council members and community members.

Contact your school for a copy of their student engagement policy. You can also read the student engagement guidance given to schools.