Source: (2009) Plenary presentation at the 12th World Conference of the International Institute for Restorative Practices. Bethlehem, PA.21-23 October 2009.

It is a privilege to be part of this conference, and I am delighted to be able to share with you my story and the beginning of the story of Hull’s restorative journey. But let me take you back a step and explain how this all began. In 2004, as a new headteacher, I took on a school in “special measures.” At the time I felt the community of the school was in crisis — there were disconnected relationships, people in conflict and little coherence or shared vision of how to move forward. We worked hard at Collingwood to address these issues to provide the right environment for learning for everyone. We shared a compelling vision based on high challenge and high support and the use of circles in classes. I recognize now that many of the tools we used were restorative and certainly our philosophy was a restorative one, even though we lacked the vocabulary to describe it as such. (excerpt)

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