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

In October 2014, the Department for Education 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. 

The 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 permeates the whole school environment and is 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.

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.

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