Restorative Practice is a form of Behaviour Management that is focused on promoting positive relationships within schools. It also aims to ensure that repairing harm and conflict is used more than assigning blame and allocating punishment. This is done through an understanding that when harm is done, we need to work with those involved to help the child take responsibility for their behaviour, learn from it and take action to repair the harm they have caused. It is important in Restorative Practice to pay attention to the stories of those harmed. This is essential to help repair them and to help the person responsible understand how their actions have affected others.
It is also vital when using a Restorative Approach to see the person NOT the behaviour. For example, by telling a child they are bad does not tell the child what they are doing wrong and how they could fix it. By disciplining the child with fairness, in a way that they understand the impact and consequences of their actions and behaviour, has been shown to be more effective.
Instead of using quick fix punishments to try and solve the problems of behaviour within schools, we need to teach children the appropriate ways in which to behave. If a child has grown up in a place where no one has taught them how to behave before, how do we expect them to understand by sending them to the headteacher or to detention? By teaching them, just as we do for writing and reading, how to behave whilst they are in school, they can understand what exactly is expected from them and what they can do to improve in the future.