Through our work with local secondary schools, CRESST is convinced that supporting young people to develop and practice conflict resolution skills among themselves fits well with staff and schools adopting restorative approaches to deal with conflicts and incidences. This offers a critical opportunity for the young person to develop understanding and learning from the impact of their actions, whatever their intent, and taking responsibility for repairing the harm caused. This is fundamental to CRESST’s belief in conflict resolution for young people by young people. Using restorative approaches in a school or youth setting empowers staff with a role to facilitate a solution, not simply impose a sanction. A planned systems approach, supported by CRESST, can ensure that restorative approaches sit alongside other behaviour management policies and enable the school to realise their ambitions and values for reconciliation and for nurturing good relationships.
CRESST is able to base its work on restorative approaches on running workshops and advising local schools and Pupil Referral Units in using restorative approaches, research experience gained from undertaking a Masters programme in Restorative Justice, and many years experience running community justice panels. For a discussion on embedding restorative approaches in your school or youth setting, please contact Carolyn Leary on firstname.lastname@example.org.