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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.

 

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. Find out more about what restorative practice is by seeing our FAQs (PDF, 423.8 KB) and supporting materials on this page.

 

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.

 

We have been piloting restorative practice in a range of settings in Gloucestershire.

Secondary schools

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.

We interviewed the assistant head teacher at Tewkesbury school, Sarah Poultney. Find out what Sarah thinks about the pilot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrYrTIjsNj8&feature=youtu.be

 

Primary schools

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 out interview with Alison Walker, head teacher at Moat primary, to find out how restorative practice has made a difference for the school.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqSYZQHYNKE

 

Workplace

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.

 

Would you like to be part of an exciting new project working with children who are in conflict within the school environment, as a volunteer restorative practice facilitator?

Restorative practices seek to develop good relationships and restore a sense of community based on the understanding that decisions are best made and conflicts are best resolved, by those most directly involved in them. Restorative approaches are very much about working with individuals, to come to a long term resolution that benefits everyone by exploring the harm that has been caused, whom it has affected and how, and how it can be resolved or rectified.

The trained volunteer facilitator will facilitate face-to-face meetings to help everyone involved move on positively with their lives. We will provide full training, mentoring and support, and pay travel expenses.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for volunteers who are good listeners, show warmth and empathy, and have good written and verbal communication skills. You will need to be impartial, a good team player and confidently use IT systems.

So, If you have a passion for improving the school experience for children and young people in Gloucestershire, this may be a great opportunity for you.

For more information on how to become a volunteer restorative practice facilitator please have a look at the job profile here or contact Julia Davey, Restorative Practice Volunteer Co-ordinator  julia.davey@gloucestershire.gov.uk  telephone 01452 752200

If you are interested, we are holding a number of information events where you can talk to our team to find out more about the opportunity:

Gloucester information event (venue tbc)

9 May 2018, 10 - 11.30am

Tewkesbury information event (venue tbc)

10 May 2018, 10 - 11.30am

Lydney information event - The Dean Academy

11 May 2018, 10 - 11.30am

 

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.

 

Want to find out more? Want to get involved? We would love to hear from you!

Contact us at restorativepractice@gloucestershire.gov.uk or telephone 01452 426855.

 

 

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