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Restorative Practices - an Overview
Restorative Practices are a range of practices aimed at
- building a sense of community within and around schools
- repairing the harm done when someone acts inappropriately
- holding all parties responsible for their actions
- improving the emotional literacy of staff, students and their families
- intervening in order to prevent (potentially) damaging situations
developing any further
Restorative Practices aim to support all students, especially
those who have done the wrong thing and those who have been effected by their
Restorative Practices potentially provide a richer set of responses
than simply implementing natural or logical consequences for the wrong-doers and
hoping that they learn from the negative experience that follows. Of course such
consequences may still be appropriate.
Key references include
The main Restorative Practices include
- Use of routine circles
- Affective statements
- 5 RP questions for wrong-doers
- What happened?
- What were you thinking of at the time?
- Who has been affected by what you have done?
- How do you think they have been effected?
- What do you need to put things right?
- How are you going to put things right?
- 5 related RP questions for
those effected by the wrong-doing
- What did you think when you realised what had happened?
- What impact has this incident had on you and others?
- What has been the hardest thing for you?
- What do you think needs to happen to make things right?
- Restorative Inquiries - 1:1 conversations with the wrong-doer OR
- Restorative Meetings - facilitated conversation with the
wrong-doer and the person effected
- Restorative Conferences - facilitated well structured
conversations with those involved and those effected by the wrong doing,
including supporters such as friends and/or family members
- Restorative Undertakings - actions that are intended to help undo
the harm done
- Support for any undertakings given
- Monitoring the ongoing outcomes of the Restorative Practices
- And in northern Tasmania, serious violence or other crimes by students
may result in Police facilitated Restorative Conferences
Links with SWPBS
Like all School-Wide Positive Behaviour Supports (SWPBS)
(a) Restorative Practices are evidence based. In particular,
- are derived from longstanding traditional approaches to justice
- are based on the quadrant of social discipline window involving high
support and high requirements (& high expectations)
- are implemented in a consistently "Fair and Firm"
- require the active involvement of the 'wrong-doer' in
helping to repair any harm done
- attempt to address the needs of all effected (rather than
simply respond to the wrongful actions involved)
- have been shown to be highly effective in a wide range of settings
across many cultures
(b) Restorative Practices work best when
- They are used school-wide
- The intended outcomes are
- to improve the ongoing (academic & social) success and
well-being of all members of the school community, hence
- restoration of all parties to full and proper membership of the school
- focused on prevention
- They include three levels of intervention - structured
informative (and preventative) conversations
- Tier 1 - for all members and groups (classes, teams...) within the
school community, to improve mutual understandings, shared purposes,
working relationships, and what and how things get done
- Tier 2 - for some members of the school community when minor harm has been done effecting a small
number of people who are amenable to contributing to repairing the
situation, that is,,
- restorative inquiries, and
- restorative meetings
- Tier 3 - for a few when significant harm has been done effecting a
wider range of people within the school and beyond, that is...
- They include thoughtful monitoring and management of various
commitments and undertakings arising from the structured conversations
- They are informed by data, eg, a student's previous participation
in RP; suspensions avoided thought the use of RP;...
- The school has well-developed systems for
- capturing, processing and using related data
- providing professional learning opportunities for staff
- enabling staff and others to use and participate in Restorative
Practices in a timely manner
Implementing Restorative Practices
Schools can implement Restorative Practices using a range of approaches.
Many thousands of schools around the world are skilled and experienced at
using SWPBS approaches to achieve school improvement . Such schools are likely
to find that implementing Restorative Practices works easily and well as a
specific application of SWPBS principles.
Restorative Practices and the Support Planner
Click here for specific
details of how the Planner might be best used to support the implementation and
use of Restorative Practices in your school.