Restorative Practice

When I first started this blog I sincerely imagined I would be jotting down something every couple of days.  And here it’s been more than two weeks since my last post.  What a crazy term!  Between Standard Grade folios and senior prelims and the HMI visit I have barely had time to catch breath.  As knackered as I am it’s been a good term.

The visit went pretty well.  The brief comments we have so far received were good or very good progress made in all areas except for overall attainment (for which we got a satisfactory) and the school building (poor progress – out of our hands unfortunately).  My only gripe is that they didn’t pop their nose into my classroom once!  Would have expected that to be a relief but it really wasn’t.  I also wanted a chance to prove that our school is doing great work.

And in other news…  Last week I spent two days in a conference room in Caley Thistle stadium exploring the idea of restorative practice.  The BBBL website defines ‘Restorative Practices’ as a means to “restoring good relationships when there has been conflict or harm; and developing school ethos, policies and procedures that reduce the possibilities of such conflict and harm.”  It’s a concept I warm to naturally.  I tend to work restoratively in my classes and have had some wonderful experiences in return.  Some horrible failures too, of course, but the successes far out weigh those.  Working restorative practises into a whole school policy is another issue.  No-one is suggesting that entire behaviour management systems should depend upon R.P., rather it should slot into current practises.  The suggested mini-conferences particularly interest me.  The suggestion is that where a pupil has been acting problematically in a certain class a conference between the pupil, a teacher and a mediator could be held to resolve issues.  How many teachers would be open to such a system though?  Some of my colleagues view R.P. as a negotiation tactic and fear this would undermine teachers authority.  Wonder if they have a point?  My gut says RP could work with many pupils but I am aware there are risks if it is not handled properly.  Will have to think about it some more.

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