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The use of restorative practices to transform school disciplinary practices is growing.

Bitel, Mark. Preliminary Findings from the Evaluation of Restorative Justice in Schools.
The preliminary evidence from the pupil surveys does not show clear effects between the schools which are in the pilot (programme schools) and the comparator schools (nonprogramme schools). However, when comparing the pre- and post-intervention surveys in schools that have implemented restorative practices to a significant degree, there are clear trends that suggest that restorative practices are having a significant effect. (excerpt)
Boulton, John and Mirsky, Laura. Restorative Practices as a Tool for Organizational Change: The Bessels Leigh School
The Bessels Leigh School, in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England, a residential special school for boys with emotional and behavioral difficulties, age 11-16, has seen a remarkable change in culture, due to restorative practices. Via restorative processes both formal and informal, the approximately 28 pupils are encouraged to express their emotions and feelings and consider those of others. In a very powerful way they are made aware of the consequences of their behavior and can recognize the harm that their actions have caused. In partnership with the IIRP and Real Justice UK and SaferSanerSchools UK, Bessels Leigh School is on track to become a demonstration school for restorative practices in the UK. (excerpt)
Bullying, restorative justice and teenage girls
from the column by Vic Goddard in the Guardian: The fine line between bullying and what is actually just a broken relationship, combined with our young peoples' inexperience in dealing with these highly emotional moments, is a huge challenge at times. As teachers we will all have suffered the frustration of spending all day dealing with so called bullying between friends, only to find them walking around school arm-in-arm and laughing the next day.
Burssens, Dieter and Vettenburg, Nicole. Restorative Group Conferencing at School: A Constructive Response to Serious Incidents.
This article presents the results of a Flemish experiment with restorative group conferencing at school suggesting positive results. Schools are often powerless when a serious incident occurs within the school premises. The end result is usually seen as a failure by the school board and the teachers. The experiment with restorative group conferencing demonstrates that there is a possibility for tackling these problems radically and constructively. The offenders have to take their responsibility, but without being stigmatized. The needs of the victims are acknowledged and the harm they have suffered will be repaired to the extent possible. Lastly, a restorative plan is developed that commands broad support both inside and outside school. Based on the positive outcome of the experiment, the Flemish Education Department is currently taking steps towards a broader implementation. Almost all schools are confronted regularly with disturbing or transgressive behavior having the potential to affect the life at school in a negative manner. In such situations, the school board has few or even no means at their disposal for giving a constructive response to the harmful consequences of the incident. However, since 2000, the Flemish youth protection system has been applying “restorative group conferencing” in response to this serious juvenile delinquency. The promising results suggest the idea of applying it in education as well. Hence, an experiment was launched from October 2002 to March 2004 where 14 restorative group conferencing sessions were organized in the wake of serious incidents in 9 different schools in Flanders. The experiment applied restorative group conferencing to incidents of divergent natures. Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjra.gov.
Call for more restorative justice plans
from the article by Fiona Gartland in the Irish Times: A restorative programme to help develop conflict resolution skills in west Tallaght in Dublin should be rolled out to all schools in Ireland, former governor of Mountjoy Prison John Lonergan has said. At the launch of a report evaluating the Restorative Practice Programme of the Childhood Development Initiative, Mr Lonergan said inter-community relationships “are at the very heart of the quality of life that people have”.
Compton, Randy and Jones, Tricia S. Kids Working It Out: Strategies and Stories for Making Peace in Our Schools
In recent years, a number of deadly incidents in schools in, for example, the United States and Germany have dramatized issues of conflict and violence in school settings. With all of this in view, Tricia Jones and Randy Compton, editors of this book, offer resources in conflict resolution education for parents, educators, and policymakers looking for ways to help young people learn constructive responses to conflict, build positive relationships, and promote just societies. The book consists of two overarching parts with chapters on particular topics in each part. Part one, more theoretical, covers the need for and potential of conflict resolution education. Part two, more practical, deals with "what works" - that is, with success stories in conflict resolution education. In each part chapters are written by experts and practitioners in the field. Additionally, in part two, each chapter ends with personal reflections by participants in conflicts and conflict resolution processes. Appendices provide information on additional books, publications, websites, organizations, and programs of relevance to conflict resolution in school settings.
Edgar, Kimmett and Bowen, Gillian and Thurlow, Jane and Bitel, Mark. The evaluation of the Lambeth Restorative Justice Conference Pilot Project in Schools.
In May 2000, the Youth Justice Board in England initiated a plan to test, in two schools in Lambeth, restorative justice approaches in response to robbery and bullying in school settings. This was part of the Board’s overall exploration of interventions that might reduce youth crime. The project was devised in partnership with the Metropolitan Police in Lambeth. To evaluate the project, the Youth Justice Board engaged Partners in Evaluation and the Oxford Centre for Criminological Research. The evaluation, reported in this document, reviewed a number of key areas: levels of victimization, bullying, and robbery in the two schools; means for introducing restorative justice approaches in the schools; satisfaction of participants (victims and offenders) in the schools’ restorative justice conferences; short-term and long-term effects of the conferences on participants; and the larger effects of conferences, if any, on the nature and frequency of acts of victimization in the two schools. This paper presents research findings and analysis in these key areas, as well as a number of recommendations to enhance the use of restorative justice conferences in school settings. Additionally, several appendices provide further information on the study methodology, data-gathering, and research instruments.
Gellin, Maija. How can a school using the peer mediation system, in cooperation with a local VOM-office and police, increase the understanding of restorative practices
This presentation described the use of the steps of mediation in the whole school community, which includes pupils, school staff, parents and in some cases also youth workers and police... According to our experience, when the peer mediation method is used in a school, the practice affects positively the whole community, which starts to understand mediation as a positive method to use in many kinds of conflicts. (excerpt)
Head Teacher Describes His Experience with Restorative Approaches
A teacher from the UK describes his experience in using restorative approaches after receiving training.
Healy, Julie and McCann, Cathy and Gribben, Marie. School Restorative Conferencing: A positive approach to keeping young people in the school community
The primary aim of the School Restorative Conferencing (SRC) scheme, which opened as a pilot in 2000, is to provide a positive approach to school inclusion for all through a restorative justice model.The project works with schools in the Southern Education & Library Board area and is based in Barnardo's Diamond House Centre, Moy, County Tyrone. (excerpt)
Henskens-Rejiman, Joke and van Pagee, Robert. Restorative Practices in a Dutch School
Joke Henskens-Reijman and Roel van Pagee are principals with Terra College, a collection of schools in The Hague (Netherlands). In this paper they describe efforts to incorporate restorative practices into the culture of two of the schools. They begin by describing changes in the population of the schools over the last decade, changes giving rise to an increase in disciplinary problems. Henskens-Reijman and van Pagee, dissatisfied with standard ways of dealing with disciplinary issues, heard about Real Justice conferences. Following training of staff, they began to employ conferences with victims and offenders to deal with problems. Henskens-Reijman and van Pagee explain steps taken to incorporate restorative practices and challenges in taking those steps.
Hopkins, Belinda. Restorative Approaches in Schools in the U.K.
This paper focues on what could be achieved in a school community if restorative skills and processes were used by everybody, with everybody, to build, nurture and repair relationships. Examples of what is happening in the U.K. will be given but the emphasis will be on what could be possible in your own community. The workshop will be informative, thought-provoking, participative, fun and inspiring.
Hopkins, Belinda. Restorative Approaches in UK Schools
This presentation describes the growing interest in the UK in the development of Restorative Approaches within schools. It discusses the various ways in which this is happening, the evaluations that have occurred to date of these projects and the challenges that lie ahead. Abstract courtesy of the Centre for Justice and Peace Development, Massey University, http://justpeace.massey.ac.nz.
Intertwined: Community conflict management in the school
from the website of Forsee Research Group: The 27 minute film created within the programme targets secondary school students essentially, with the most important aim of supporting the responsiveness to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) with audiovisual tools. The above is realised primarily through the demonstration of the fundamental principles of ADR in educational situations, moreover, the film also cites a non-violent resolution of a specific in-school case, presenting the steps, methods and tools applied in the process. We intend to make the audience think and reflect on their own conflict resolution practices: to re-enforce their positive practices and to face ‘violent’ dispute resolution routines either applied or sustained by them. The film is presented by trained moderator pairs in the frame of a film and discussion workshop, through a pre-defined theme.
Introducing Restorative Practices into Scottish Schools
In 2004, the Scottish Executive allocated funding for a 30-month pilot project to introduce restorative practices into schools in three Local Authorities. An August 2007 evaluation report outlines the implementation process for the different areas and the progress made in establishing restorative practices in the school.
Kane, Jean. Full report of evaluation of restorative practices in 3 Scottish councils.
In 2004, as part of the ‘Better Behaviour, Better Learning’ Initiative, funding was provided by the Scottish Executive for a two-year pilot project on Restorative Practices (RP) in 3 Scottish Local Authorities2. The idea of RP in education in Scotland had first been introduced in a Scottish Executive Circular on School Exclusion in 2003. A team from the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow was commissioned to undertake an evaluation of the pilot project. In recognition of the challenge and time required for school change and of the early benefits of RP, the Scottish Executive has extended the period of the pilot project by a further two years. This evaluation report summarises the strengths and achievements of the implementation of RP in the first two years, 2004-2006. (excerpt)
Kinnunen, Aarne. Resolving conflicts in schools in Finland.
The Finnish Act on Basic Education states that a child has the right to a safe studying environment. Schools thus carry the responsibility to react to possible tensions and to ensure that there are enough methods to prevent conflicts. Since harmful and disrespectful behaviour occurs on a daily basis in schools, it is necessary to create different methods to prevent bullying, violence and other types of aggressive behaviour and to create a safe and comfortable learning environment. Schools should thus, in addition to basic educational duties, also help students build social and emotional skills within the school community so that schools can be safe and just places. (excerpt)
Lewis, Ivan. Speech to the Second International Restorative Justice Conference (The role of restorative justice and citizenship education in our schools)
It is clear that in Drayton School restorative justice has enabled pupils to become actively involved in their lives and the life of their school. But before we reflect on the valuable role that restorative justice may play in schools, I believe it is important to firstly consider the key elements of this approach. As its name implies, restorative justice gives individuals a real opportunity to put right what they may have done wrong. Effective conflict resolution is promoted through encouraging individuals to consider the feelings of others and the effect their actions can have on them. At its core, restorative justice is about individuals taking responsibility for their actions. These, among others, are essential elements of the citizenship curriculum in schools. (excerpt)
Lewis, Lesley. The Glasgow RJS: Restorative Practices in Schools.
In August 2004, The Restorative Justice Service (RJS) in Glasgow launched a Schools restorative justice conferencing service to four selected secondary schools across the city of Glasgow. (excerpt)
Lloyd, Gwynedd and Weedon, Elisabet and Stead, Joan and Riddell, Sheila and McCluskey, Gillean and Kane, Jean. Restorative Approaches in Scottish Schools: Transformations and Challenges.
This presentation will give some findings from our evaluation of a pilot project funded by the government in Scotland. I will mainly talk in my presentation about some of the important themes, issues and challenges that have emerged from the project. If conference participants wish to know more, they can attend a workshop with two university colleagues and two staff from Scottish schools, one elementary and one high school, offering some real, detailed stories from their schools. My intention is to inform, stimulate and perhaps provoke you with some ideas and to tell (and show you) a little about Scotland. (excerpt)

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