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Academy chain to look at isolation units.

Academy chain to look at isolation units.

An academy chain has pledged to look at criticism of its use of isolation units in a review of its behaviour policy, after a student mounted legal action against the trust.

Proceedings were lodged in the high court in December against Outwood Grange Academies Trust’s use of “isolation booths”, spaces in “consequence rooms” in which children sit in silence for hours as punishment for breaking school rules. The trust runs 31 schools across Yorkshire, the Humber and the east Midlands.

The application was made on behalf of a boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, who was kept in one such unit at his school in Yorkshire for up to 35 days. His mother said the impact on him had been devastating. In a move welcomed by the legal firm bringing the action, the academy trust said the concerns raised in the application would be “expressly considered” in a routine review of its behaviour policy. The concerns included the use of isolation booths for extended periods of time, the lack of teaching while children are in the rooms and the lack of oversight of the policy.

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