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Video Review: An Introduction to Restorative Practices at Endeavour High School

Aug 07, 2009

by Kate Strong

This video describes the positive results of restorative practices implemented in a school with behavioral and performance problems in England.

Endeavour High School in Hull, England, had a very bad reputation in its community and the larger educational system. In addition, socioeconomic conditions made it difficult for students to participate positively in their school.

The administration decided the best way to address both problems was to institute restorative practices, citing that the traditional ways simply were not working. The community, students, and teachers were skeptical at first. But after eighteen months, the results have been very positive. There is a greater sense of community in the school, the students have learned how to build real relationships with each other, and overall behavior has improved. 

The video is a wonderful story of how restorative justice can work effectively in settings where the people are willing to commit to it. The story is mostly told via interviews with the students, teachers, and administrators. All of them speak about what they see as positive about the programs, although most of the focus is on how it has helped the students.

A mother and a daughter in particular relate how they think her behavior has improved. When the daughter also talks about an inner sense of calm being present in her that was not there before, it serves as a strong example of how restorative justice effectively done can create inner transformation.

Another student describes the circle policy that the teachers use in their classrooms as giving her a place where she feels safe and comfortable expressing her feelings. The air of confidence pervading her manner seems a far cry from the sense of sullenness or cynicism that one might expect a teen attending a so-called troubled school to have.

Although short, only 18 minutes, this introductory is hopeful and uplifting as the students acknowledge the good restorative justice has done in their lives and the hopes they have about implementing what they have learned in the future.

"An Introduction to Restorative Practices at Endeavour High School" is available from the International Institute of Restorative Practices for $30.

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