Restorative Practice in Gloucestershire
We are happier, more cooperative and more likely to make positive changes when people in authority do things with and alongside us, rather than to us or for us.
What it is
Restorative practice describes a core set of beliefs, principles and a way of being with people that builds and maintains healthy relationships, a sense of community and a shared sense of accountability.
It is about giving high levels of support and challenge to inspire people and communities to feel able to resolve their problems and shape their own futures.
When we work with and alongside people, there is a wealth of evidence that proves doing so can lead to significant and sustained positive change. Restorative practice is a way to be, not a process to follow or a thing to do.
Who we are
We are a multi-agency group made up of representatives from Gloucestershire County Council, Restorative Gloucestershire, Prospects Youth Support and other partners from schools, children’s services, police, district councils, health services etc.
We recognise the importance of strong and healthy relationships, being fair and inclusive and empowering people and communities to find the solutions within themselves for the problems they face.
What's currently happening in Gloucestershire?
We have been piloting restorative practice in a range of settings in Gloucestershire.
This pilot scheme successfully introduced restorative practices at Tewkesbury School to both staff and pupils, positively impacting leadership, curriculum, learning and student behaviour. This pilot is now complete and we have had some outstanding results. Restorative practice in this school has seen a reduction of 54% in the number of fixed exclusions and a 72% reduction in the number of days lost. Same day detentions have also gone down by 28.6%. The programme strengthened a sense of community and accountability, developed skills for learning, increased emotional literacy and reduced disruptive behaviour. The scheme has now been extended to a further two secondary schools one in Gloucester and the other in the Forest of Dean, with training well under way and both schools aiming to be fully restorative at the start of September 2018.
This pilot successfully introduced restorative practices into Moat Primary School which was experiencing a high number of fixed term exclusions. Similar to Tewkesbury School, they saw some brilliant results. Since using a restorative approach, the number of fixed term exclusions has reduced by 84% and there have been no permanent exclusions. A further four primary schools in Tuffley, Gloucester are well under way to becoming fully restorative practice schools.
You can watch our interview with Alison Walker, head teacher at Moat primary, to find out how restorative practice has made a difference for the school.
We are focused on developing the restorative mindset of our leaders and managers to understand how stronger relationships with and between staff and partners can enhance working relations, individual and team performance, quality of services and outcomes for children, families and communities.
We have been using restorative techniques to improve the effectiveness of meetings, communications and problem solving and promote shared responsibility and accountability. This pilot was made up of 3 strands, the Leadership programme, Management programme and Practice Champions programme. Phase one of the Leadership Programme which involved working with our consultant is coming to an end and the group are in the process of developing a plan to further embed Restorative Leadership Practices across Children’s Services.
Our shared ambition
Gloucestershire has a strong foundation to build on. There are already a range of restorative practices happening in a variety of settings:
- Family Group Conferencing in children’s services
- Gloucestershire Innovations/BASE in youth support services
- Asset Based Community Development in policing and neighbourhood safety
- Restorative Supervision in health services
- Making Every Contact Count (MECC) training for frontline health professionals
Our shared intention is that explicit adoption of restorative principles, values and methodologies that develop healthy relationships and positively resolve conflict and difficulties will improve the quality and consistency of services and outcomes for children, young people, families and communities in Gloucestershire.
By piloting restorative practice in this range of settings we can start to build and support a common culture across organisations in Gloucestershire. See our Proposal (PDF, 991.3 KB) for additional detail.
How to find out more
Want to find out more? Want to get involved? We would love to hear from you!
Contact us at email@example.com or telephone 01452 425766.