We have noticed that if a school thinks of a restorative approach as an occasional bolt-on, or as a last resort when authoritarian or punitive responses have not worked, then very little change will be seen, either in individuals’ behaviour or across the school community. 

The key lies in systematic whole-school adoption of a restorative ethos and culture and a consistent use of restorative thinking and skills in every classroom by every teacher. The initiative will probably start with a long hard look at the staffroom culture and the leadership style of middle and senior management. If these are not congruent with restorative principles then it makes it very hard for individual teachers to give of their best in their classrooms. 

The Transforming Conflict model of restorative practice is based on five key themes or ideas and these are seen as fundamental to day to day engagement, not just as a the basis for responding to challenges and problems. They become the ‘way we do things around here’. 

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