Restorative Approaches in Schools
The use of Restorative Approaches in schools has developed over the last decade to deal with behaviour issues both in and outside of the classroom. The approaches take several different formats, depending on the nature and severity of the situation.
A corridor conference may be used to deal with low level disruption in the classroom. If a student is consistently talking during a lesson, they may be asked to step outside of the classroom to speak with the teacher. The teacher uses a series of questions to prompt the student to consider their actions, how it is affecting their learning and the learning of others around them and to decide what should be done to stop the situation escalating.
A Restorative Circle maybe used to deal with an incident involving two or more pupils, for example, a group of students causing disruption in the classroom or getting into an argument. In these cases, an impromptu Restorative Circle may be used to allow all the parties involved to speak and consider how the situation affects themselves and affects the other students involved. An agreement should be reached so that the situation can be resolved as fairly and quickly as possible.
In the case of a more serious incident, a formal Restorative Circle may be used, for example, cases of bullying, theft, truancy or serious damage to property or possessions. A Restorative Circle may be arranged in advance, either during or after school, to allow everyone involved to be able to speak and have their thoughts, feelings and ideas considered. In some cases, a contract may be created and agreed to by all the parties involved as a formal understanding of how the situation is to be moved forward.