25th January 2008 at 00:00

Posted by forfour

Does anyone work in a school where this is widely used? I have heard varying degrees of success with it. My school is considering it but there are concerns - is it a "gnaff's charter?"

Posted by Raymagnol

Research in the criminal justice system - where it originates - suggests a remarkable success rate, but especially markedly so the more SERIOUS the offender. My talks with school heads in England doing this suggest the same - it works well with the real problem pupils but isn't really realistic as an ongoing classroom behaviour management strategy. However, the research hasn't been done in schools, I don't think.

What I would say is that amateurs can't do it effectively because it is NOT simply about getting folk together to say sorry. A lot of difficult mediation takes place and so those doing it need to be very highly trained.

Posted by subman68

It is a total and utter piss-take in my opinion. Example: well-known NED in the school is always in bother, he makes the choice to throw a full (unopened) can of Coke across the dinner hall at a PT that had the cheek to tell him to leave as he was spitting in S1 and S2 plates. PT gets six stitches in a head wound.

We all think this guy is out; no way he is back in school. Wrong - he says sorry and even writes a letter to say sorry.

HTDHTRestorative folk all say this is great as he really knows what he did was wrong. He is back in school the next day - on that same day he still gets four referrals.

Now how would you feel?

I do not want kids to understand that they are doing something wrong. They already know that. I want them punished for being NEDS and I want it done before they think it is OK to kick a man to death ...

Posted by bigjimmy

Well put, subby-baby. It's not enough to say sorry. What we all want is to eradicate incidents of threatening or violent behaviour in the first place. Kids are not daft and they know what they can get away with. If the trade-off for getting away with loutish behaviour is merely to play-act remorse, then they'll do that every time. If the consequence is a major kick up ther erse, then they'll soon learn not to do it again.

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