Police and Crime Commissioner, Adam Simmonds, has praised the work of a number of schools in Northamptonshire who are successfully using restorative justice approaches to improve behaviour and attendance amongst pupils.
Restorative approaches focus on repairing relationships and finding solutions following incidents of conflict rather than assigning blame and have been shown to create a more positive school environment, cut bullying and reduce assaults on staff.
Following the success of these initiatives, which have been used effectively by youth offending teams across the UK and a number of schools in the county, two Restorative Approaches in Schools conferences will take place in Northamptonshire next week (week beginning Monday, February 22nd) as part of Restorative Northamptonshire, organised by Northamptonshire County Council and the Office of Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner.
More than 20 per cent of the county’s state-funded schools are due to attend one of the sessions, which will showcase examples of good practice in Northamptonshire, such as Abbeyfield School in Northampton, which has seen a drop in the number of pupil exclusions and an overall improvement in behaviour.
Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Adam Simmonds, said:
“I’m delighted to see more and more schools are showing an interest in adopting restorative approaches as a method of resolving issues and conflicts that arise.
“Using this approach to repair relationships is proven to have an extremely positive effect on behaviour and attendance levels, and should therefore be encouraged.
“I’m sure that the Restorative Approaches in Schools conferences will be a huge success and will showcase the positive work that is being carried out in numerous schools around the county that are already using restorative approaches.”
Cllr Matthew Golby, county council cabinet member for learning, skills and education, said:
“The use of restorative approaches in schools can be highly effective as it helps children to better understand how their behaviour might affect others and help to decide themselves how to make amends.
“Several schools in Northamptonshire who use this approach have seen some fantastic results, which is why we are inviting others to come and find out how they could make restorative approaches work in their own schools.
“By reducing bad behaviour, poor attendance and exclusion levels, we can ensure that every child in Northamptonshire receives the best possible education and support.”