16 February 2016

Schools in Northamptonshire will be able to find out how restorative approaches can improve pupil behaviour and attendance at a special event next week (February 22nd).

Restorative approaches focus on repairing relationships rather than assigning blame and has been shown to help increase pupil attendance levels, create a more positive school environment, cut bullying and reduce assaults on staff.

Restorative Northamptonshire

The two Restorative Approaches in Schools conferences taking place on Monday are part of a countywide initiative called Restorative Northamptonshire and are organised by Northamptonshire County Council and the 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.

Restorative justice has been used effectively by youth offending teams across the UK and these approaches are becoming more popular in schools to resolve disputes, conflicts and other problems by bringing together those involved to find a resolution.

The conferences will showcase examples of good practice in Northamptonshire, such as Abbeyfield School in Northampton which has seen a drop in the number of exclusions and an overall improvement in behaviour.

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.”

Resolving conflicts

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."