In Other News

New Department for Education guidance: Preventing and tackling bullying - highlights restorative justice

The Department for Education has published Preventing and Tackling Bullying – Advice for School Leaders, staff and Governing Bodies to help schools prevent and respond to bullying.

The guidance recognises the value of both proactive and responsive approaches to tackle bullying - this contrasts with the short 'behaviour checklist' published by DfE this week, which overlooks the benefits of proactive restorative approaches in schools to build empathy, responsibility and encouraging self-discipline.

The DfE Preventing and Tackling Bullying advice says, “Schools which excel at tackling bullying have created an ethos of good behaviour where pupils treat one another and the school staff with respect because they know that this is the right way to behave.” It continues, saying that in such schools, “a clear understanding of how our actions affect others permeate the whole school environment and are reinforced by staff and older pupils who set a good example to the rest.”

In line with current Government policy to allow schools to choose their own approach to behaviour and bullying policy, the guidance does not mandate the use of restorative approaches, but refers readers to the Restorative Justice Council as a source for specialist advice, including the Best Practice Guidance for Restorative Practice (2011).

The advice follows research published by the Department for Education in April 2001 which found that two thirds of schools use restorative approaches in response to bullying and 97% of teachers rated restorative approaches as effective.

4th Oct 2011

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