Research studentship and scholarship

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10 November 2023

This is an exciting opportunity to join the University of Greenwich to undertake a Postgraduate Research Scholarship in Restorative Approaches in Schools.

About the post

Restorative Approaches in Schools – the impact for pupils’ behaviour, relationships in school and educational attainment

Schools in England and Wales are required to have behaviour policies which outline standards of behaviour and approaches to address behaviour. Research suggests that restorative practice is a promising approach with some emerging evidence indicating positive effects on behaviour, school relationships and exclusions. Evidence suggests better social climates and relationships leading to an overall environment conducive to positive school behaviour and relationships

The Restorative Justice Council has highlighted the use of restorative approaches within education as a key priority area. Thus, this scholarship is timely in that it will address an issue which the APPG on Restorative Justice is highlighting as an area in need of research.

Restorative Practice
Definitions of RP are broad and varied. In schools, it is defined as being ‘within an ecological framework encompassing the principles that schools and communities use to guide the development of their policies, programs, and practices. This framework focuses on relationships and their harms, empowerment of all persons, and collaboration’ (Song & Swearer, 2016). The literature identifies seven aspects underpinning RP (Anfara et al., 2013).

  • Meeting needs – viewing (mis)behaviour as communicating unmet needs
  • Providing accountability and support – ensuring that there is a combination of discipline and taking responsibility for actions with support to facilitate this
  • Making things right – providing support to young people in making reparations for any harm/upset
  • Viewing conflict as a learning opportunity – taking the opportunity for the young person and others to learn from what happened and how it can be repaired
  • Building healthy learning communities – promoting positive, healthy relationships across the school community
  • Restoring relationships – viewing relationship conflicts as something that can be restored/repaired
  • Addressing power imbalances – addressing structures which may lead to and sustain inequalities

RP can be used with young people involved in bullying (bullied or bullying others), disruptive behaviours or as part of working towards reintegration post-exclusion. Methods used include mediation approaches, reconciliation or conflict resolution through circle activities or restorative conferences and can be targeted to individuals or the whole school.

Little is currently known about how many UK schools have adopted RP approaches and what these look like. Furthermore, there is little welldesigned research evaluating RP in schools highlighting shortcomings such as a lack of clear identification of RP implementation, lack of clear outcome measures beyond teacher perceptions and few pre-post matched control studies. Although research has suggested the RP approaches have promise, there is need for further evaluation of the impact of this on children’s behaviour, relationships and attainment in schools.

To understand the impact of RP approaches in school on pupils’ behaviour, relationships in school and educational attainment. In particular:

  • How common is the use of RP across schools in England and how is RP implemented in schools, and is this differentially related to outcomes?
  • Using a pre-post matched control study, what are the impacts of RP implementation on pupils’ perceptions of the school climate, behaviour, wellbeing and relationships in school.

Additional Benefits

From 01 October for the 2023-24 academic year this amount will be Year 1: £17,668 (FT) or prorata (PT) Year 2: In line with UKRI rate Year 3: In line with UKRI rate

In addition, the successful candidate will receive a contribution to tuition fees equivalent to the university’s Home rate, currently £4,596 (FT) or pro-rata (PT), for the duration of their scholarship. International applicants will need to pay the remainder tuition fee for the duration of their scholarship.

This fee is subject to an annual increase.

Submitting your application

Please read this information before making an application. Information on the application process is available at: Applications need to be made online via this link. No other form of application will be considered. Please ensure that you select ‘MPhil/PhD Human Sciences’ from the list to ensure prompt processing of applications.

All applications must include the following information. Applications not containing these documents will not be considered:

  • VC Scholarship Reference Number (VCS-FEHHS-03-23)– included in the personal statement section
  • Personal Statement* - outlining your motivation for applying for this PhD, and your previous research experience (e.g., as a research assistant or completing a dissertation).
  • Academic qualification certificates/transcripts*
  • IELTS/English Language certificate if you are an international applicant or if English is not your first language or you are from a country where English is not the majority spoken language as defined by the UK Border Agency *
  • Your complete CV*
  • Two reference letters (one ideally from a dissertation supervisor)* (note these need to be the letters itself, not only the contact details of the referees)
  • Research Proposal* Please provide a citation of an empirical piece of existing research you could replicate in your first year (to assess the extent of inequalities in research), and a 500-word proposal explaining why this study specifically.
  • Please ensure that you submit to the MPhil/PhD Human Sciences programme.

*upload to the qualification section of the application form. Attachments must be in PDF format.
You will need to submit this as 1 single PDF, to be uploaded as attachment.

Before submitting your application, you are encouraged to liaise with the Lead Supervisor on the details below.

Closing Date:  28 November 2023

Contact Name:  Professor Claire Monks

Contact Email:

Associated documents: 
Closing Date: 
Tuesday, 28 November 2023