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Cotham School

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Restorative Approaches to behaviour

In a school where so much work is being done on tackling unconscious behaviour as well as decolonising the curriculum it was important that staff then received further training in how to bring a restorative approach to behaviour and embed this in the school systems and policies. In October 2019, all staff received external training in the importance and techniques that underpin restorative approaches and further intensive training was given to members of the senior leadership team, inclusion team and pastoral team to ensure that everyone could conduct restorative conversations and conferences after a relationship breakdown between students and staff.  This practice is still being embedded and the first step in this process was to get rid of our withdrawal classroom which was disproportionately occupied by BAME students; this was not achieving the desired changes in behaviour and was one of the biggest reasons why we have decided to move to a more restorative approach where relationships can be rebuilt, students and staff can take responsibility for any parts they played in the breakdown of the relationship or poor behaviour and positive, rebuilding actions can be set.  All the research points to this resulting in more cases of sustained changed behaviour and stronger, more respectful relationships between staff and students. Link here to the organisation that conducted this training with us.