20 Outcomes Restorative Justice can achieve in Schools

For an overview of Restorative Justice and how it can be used in Schools please refer to this post.

Prevent easy condemnation and replace it with positivity in reaction to offences:

  • by taking account of people’s thoughts, feelings and motivation
  • by replacing retribution with restoration
  • by making whole school community aware of their responsibility to each other and the community as a whole

Lessen anti-social behaviour:

  • lessen conflict at all levels
  • teach social and citizenship skills
  • introduce skills which might not have been acquired outside school
  • ease tensions between different groups

Reduce levels of violence or assault

  • by showing offenders how they have harmed others (and themselves)
  • by allowing victims to express their hurt and grievance
  • by example showing that it is unnecessary to resort to violence to settle disputes or problems
  • by anger management tuition

Reduce inappropriate language

  • by example across the whole school
  • by lessening students’ sense of inadequacy
  • by improving communication skills

Make pupils more happy and secure at school

  • by giving an outlet for tensions
  • by giving all pupils a voice and someone to listen to them
  • by lessening the gap between young people and adults
  • by giving students responsibility for themselves and others
  • by raising self esteem

Reduce the need for exclusions, both fixed term and permanent

  • restorative justice can provide a forum for letting out frustration, anger and a sense of grievance against authority
  • replace exclusion by a social contract tailored to meet the needs of the student
  • remove the need for immovable sanctions

Reduce levels of truancy:

  • by making school a happier and more attractive place to be
  • by greater integration of students in school life
  • by eliminating fear of what might happen in school
  • by encouraging friendship and a caring environment

Reduce incidences of bullying:

  • by making bullies recognise the harm they do to others
  • by directing a sense of frustration and rage more positively
  • by increasing a sense of community responsible for each other
  • by example across the school
  • by reparation measures towards victims

Reduce harassment:

  • by giving all students an opportunity to tell someone when they areharassed.
  • by showing bullies that the hurt is actually inside themselves

Eliminate theft:

  • by stressing responsibility in a communal setting
  • by reparation measures

Lessen conflict (between students, students and teachers, parents and teachers, parents and school):

  • by communication
  • by negotiation
  • by mediation
  • by involvement of all concerned
  • by ensuring greater understanding of others and their views

Help create true inclusion:

  • by giving all in the school community and equal voice
  • by giving all responsibility for themselves and others
  • by mutual respect

Give pupils self-esteem and motivation:

  • by giving them equality with their peers
  • by fostering self-worth

Create a sense of responsibility in the school population:

  • by recognition that all are responsible for the wellbeing of the whole

Help staff not to need to be ‘policemen’ and feel frustrated by the need to keep order rather than teach:

  • taking the burden of ‘punishment’ from staff
  • by better behaviour from students
  • by the support of a co-ordinator and mediators, as well as peer mediators

Deal with racism and discrimination:

  • by promoting understanding of diversity
  • by reparation by offenders
  • by empathy with others

Promote whole-school wellbeing:

  • by the realisation that all are part of the school
  • by the understanding of responsibility
  • by self esteem

Find out about external circumstances which affect students in school:

  • by conferencing and family conferencing exploration of offenders’ motives

Ensure that all the school community live by the same code and are constantly aware of it:

  • by ensuring that all, from governors down the chain, all follow the
  • same code and promote it constantly

Want to learn more?

Restorative Justice Facilitating and Following up with Confidence – a Creative Education Course

Restorative Justice in Schools: An Overview – Creative Education Blog Post

The National Centre for Restorative Approaches in Youth Settings

International Institute for Restorative Practices