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Good news from 2017

As we head towards the Christmas/Midwinter Season it is good to reflect on the past year. We were delighted to receive feedback from a secondary Pupil Referral Unit where a number of staff have been trained by members of the Transforming Conflict team this year and last year.“One of the most positive outcomes from the training is the use of restorative language.  Several staff have commented on how the structure provided in the training has played a part in diffusing and avoiding conflict in everyday situations around the school.  Conflict can be resolved quickly and as staff become more familiar with the use of restorative communication less exclusions will result”  Deputy Head Teacher. SMART Centre.The feedback was shared with Belinda Hopkins by Merton Youth Offending Service who had originally commissioned the training and they also had some excellent news: ‘A positive outcome for the Youth Justice Service is that we have not had any young people refereed to us as a result of criminal damage or assaults on staff.’  More excellent news from Monmouth Comprehensive School, the first secondary school to receive the Restorative Services Quality Mark (RSQM). The school had its best-ever GCSE and A level results this year and was identified as the second most improved school in England and Wales. The Department of Education has been in touch wanting to know what their secret is. Deputy Head Andy Williams would say that it was in large measure the whole school restorative ethos that influences how staff relate to students and how restorative principles influence teaching and learning. The school is definitely pioneering an innovative way to deliver the curriculum by weaving restorative principles into all they do.   Director Belinda Hopkins had a proud day at the Restorative Justice Annual General Meeting on November 21st celebrating Iffley Academy’s Assistant Head Tom Proctor-Legg's being awarded the Restorative Services Quality Mark on behalf of the staff team. It was a great day – and good also to see there Sally Neaves, Assistant Head from Childs Hill School, which has now had its RSQM re-awarded and Catherine Allard, now Head of John Keble Church of England Primary School. Catherine was the person responsible for preparing Childs Hill’s RSQM application when she was Deputy Head there. It has certainly been a busy year for Belinda and Caroline. As well as spending a lot of time working closely with Moulton School staff over the year ( and proud to see the school has also now been awarded the RSQM for the tremendous progress they have made this year, as reported in our last newsletter) Belinda has spoken at conferences in Croatia and Ireland and done training in Belgium and Denmark. Caroline has been developing her work in community and social settings, especially in Camden and in Bristol,  and we want to share much more about this innovative work in the New Year. We are excited about what 2018 will bring.We wish you Warm Season’s Greetings and a well-earned rest over the holiday season.  Relational and restorative skills are needed more than ever and there is increasing interest in applying them in all sorts of settings.Where is it NOT needed to be able to feel heard? 

  • To be able to have genuine authentic dialogues with people?
  • To address conflicts and challenges in a positive way?
  • To seek to put right the harm caused?
  • To give those with less power the chance to take more control over the issues that concern them?

Let’s start the New Year with renewed enthusiasm for this vital contribution to making the world a better place. Belinda Hopkins

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