University of Exeter
Tools for Schools
No child is an island

No child is an island

Key Points

This strategy is about reducing the use of isolation, exclusion and time-outs with the toolkit student and to give you and your colleagues other options.

How is this tweaked for flex?

Children who flex is designed for are usually at high risk of having isolation strategies used as punishments. This strategy makes it clear that there is no evidence that this makes any positive difference to the child, as well as providing tools to make other plans to avoid this for the child in future

  • You may need to talk to Senior Leadership about making some of these changes, ask your SENCo to support you to do this if need be
  • Watch the short video on isolation
  • List the common times, places and reasons that isolation or exclusion is used in your school, and note those specific to your student using the common situations template
  • How do you feel about using isolation for students? How does this contrast with your schools’ approach or rules?
  • Talk to your student, their family and the SENCo about the times isolation has been used with them before now, in order to understand whether there were any positive or negative impacts
  • Ask their family what they do at home to manage the student in similar situations
  • Make a five step plan using the 5-step plan template, and use this next time an isolation situation crops up. If you need help or need permission for some of these options, talk to your SENCo and Senior Leadership team 
  • Talk to the student about the plan and tell them that next time a situation comes up you will follow this with them before making an isolation decision
  • When a situation comes up that may previously have resulted in isolation, work through the steps on the plan. Remind the student of the plan and that that is what you are doing to help manage their expectations
  • Does the approach reduce the need for isolation?
  • Track when you have used the plan and the outcomes using the tracking template
  • When you have used the plan, successfully or not, review what you did with your SENCo or a colleague and ask for their thoughts on what wen well and what you could do differently next time. Share your thoughts
  • Use the reflection template to think about how this strategy has worked for you
  • If there are structural changes that the Senior Leadership are less keen on, use the tracking template to demonstrate to them that there is often no need to escalate to isolation for the student