New Ofsted framework

A new document published by Quakers in Britain (QB) Response to consultation on the draft education inspection framework from Ofsted has shone a light on Restorative work in schools.

The document highlight the need for an alternative response to behaviour than ‘zero tolerance’ policies which are common in secondary schools in the UK.

“By emphasising ‘behaviour’ Ofsted may encourage unhelpful zero-tolerance policies that frustrate children’s right to be heard. The framework should give more emphasis to that right, particularly in the context of responding to conflict.”

It also points to the publication Positive Peace in Schools (Hilary Cremin and Terence Bevington) which identifies three key approaches:

“peace-keeping, in which controls over or aggressive behaviour;
peace-making, which responds to conflict that arises with processes such as
mediation; and peace-building, which involves “longer term, more fundamental processes of redressing injustice, democratisation, and nurturing healthy social relationships.

Cremin and Bevington argue that all three are essential to create a culture of positive peace in schools, but the QB document raises some concern that Ofsted may be encouraging a focus on just one aspect:

“The framework as it stands provides some encouragement to utilise all three, but we nevertheless fear the emphasis on “behaviour” will lead to a disproportionate focus on peace-keeping.

Science also shows again and again that punishment does not change behaviour; it creates anger, resentment and deceit.

Both to uphold the right to be heard and to enable the visible behaviour and
attitudes Ofsted is articulating, restorative approaches (sometimes called
restorative practice) are needed.

Unlike a retributive, authoritarian approach, a restorative approach works with people in conflict to take responsibility for finding and enacting solutions. It is also distinct from a “permissive approach” in which harmful behaviour is indulged or accommodated.”

and highlights the work already done:

Work worldwide and in UK has repeatedly shown the value of a restorative
approach to conflict and relationships in a school

97% of primary and secondary schools in a DFE survey (with 283 responses) said restorative approaches reduce bullying. Studies also show that teachers who use restorative approaches have better relationships with learners”

We think the below recommendation is extremely useful. With exclusions on the rise and disproportionately affecting ethnic minority, poor and SEN children and young people, we need an alternative method for dealing with inevitable conflict in schools.

Restorative Practice is ALL about positive relationships, something Ofsted should be seeking to promote throughout the education system.

“Ofsted has attached value to positive relationships in school, so should note the positive impact of restorative approaches educators experience.
“As a headteacher, I have seen the difference that restorative practice made in my school, putting relationships at the very heart of everything we do.

The draft framework does not explicitly preclude restorative approaches, but neither does it provide particular encouragement. We feel that silence facilitates the existing bias toward authoritarian approaches noted above. It is constructive that the framework attaches value to relationships that “reflect a positive and respectful culture”, but this leaves ambiguous whether Ofsted would be satisfied with “negative peace” in which learners are visibly respectful but structurally silenced.
While Ofsted may choose not to endorse a specific discourse such as restorative approaches, we feel it must recognise the need for providers to address conflict constructively.”

Tackling Loneliness at school

You can view our new film here, showing our project Tackling Youth Loneliness. Restorative Coaches teams at Richard Lander School, Mounts Bay Academy and Newquay Tretherras co-designed a workshop for Year 7s, using Restorative techniques to run circles.

Together, they came up with ideas to tackle loneliness at school.

You can read the report below:



Tackling Loneliness was supported by the Co-op Foundation.

RJ Working Update

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Spring Term 2019
We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded a grant
from the Co-op Foundation to work with three of Cornwall’s Secondary schools, serving the communities of Truro, Newquay and Penzance.
We will be supporting young people to explore Restorative approaches 
to tackling the harm caused by loneliness,
consulting other students and developing an outdoor space at their school.

“Spaces where young people can come together to enjoy shared interests are important for building connections and tackling youth loneliness. By involving young people in improving local spaces, we’re helping to increase their confidence and skills, while also building stronger, co-operative communities. We look forward to seeing the impact this funding has tackling youth loneliness across England.”

Jim Cooke Head of the Co-op Foundation

More info here 
December’s #SanctuaryInCornwall Conference was a huge success with over 100 people coming together in All Saints Highertown to hear speakers Gulawali Passarlay, Paddy Dowling, Esme Page, Manda Brookman, Caroline Virgo and Sarah Acraman, and even a presentation by students from Mounts Bay Academy.
This conference was about recognising the harm experienced by refugees seeking sanctuary and the huge need for Cornwall’s warm welcome
to be extended, grown and developed in the years ahead.
We enjoyed beautiful food made by Zahar (Waterside Cafe) and contributed to a huge wall map showing different projects  welcoming refugees happening up and down the county.

A film of the event is currently being made,
so follow us on Twitter or Facebook to see it first. 

In November two of our trainers visited Five Islands Academy in the Isles of Scilly to work with Year 6 and Year 3. We built on Restorative Practice done previously with the Year 6 children to explore ways they might be able to support Year 3. The children came up with lots of brilliant ideas and had a chance to put them into practice, being ‘circle keepers’ with the younger children. The groups even got a chance to talk about their learning on Radio Scilly! This is what they had to say:

“I like it because we were talking about our feelings and we got to pass the talking piece around.”
“We are learning to be Restorative Coaches. Like the teachers help us we can help younger children” 
“Restorative Justice is a way to resolve problems and help others to be open about their feelings.”
“It will help me be kind to people”
“The role of Restorative Coaches is to solve arguments in a mature way
and make the school a happier place”

Thank you to all of the children for their enthusiasm, wisdom and kindness,
and to the school for welcoming and working with us.
We will be returning to the Islands in February to develop our work with Year 9. 

Beautiful animations have been made by students at Falmouth University, using the voices of children
from Truro Learning Academy, Newquay Junior Academy and Ludgvan School. 

Watch on our Youtube channel here 
The Restorative Leadership Development Programme
is a new and innovative training developed in partnership with
Applied Minds, Veor Surgery and the University of Exeter,
aimed at strengthening the career progression of Teaching Assistants, Healthcare Assistants and equivalent roles
with the support of strategic leaders in their workplace. 
Places are free due to part-funding from the European Social Fund.
Participants will develop a project of their choice in their workplace,
gaining an accredited qualification (ILM Level 3 Award). 

The first two trailblazing cohorts have begun the Programme on alternate Wednesdays at the Kite building in Penzance. If you’re interested in being part of the next group, get in touch!

Contact us
This newsletter will arrive in your inbox once a term, filled with news and opportunities from RJ Working and the wider field of Restorative Practices in Cornwall & The Isles of Scilly and beyond. 

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Sanctuary in Cornwall

On the 1st December 2018, a hundred people gathered in Truro to listen to and discuss the possibilities of Sanctuary in Cornwall.

Paddy Dowling described his work in refugee camps around the world, students from MBA talked about the welcome they received in the United States, Gulwali Passarlay shared his story of arriving in the UK from Afghanistan, Esme Page showed us the wonderful work of Cornwall Hugs and Manda Brookman proposed “Sanctuary as a verb”.

It was an emotional and uplifting day of deep discussion, shared food and new connections.

You can see a film of the day here

Falmouth & Penryn Welcome Refugee Families is a group formed in April 2018, inspired by a collective wish to help some of the people whose lives have been devastated by the ongoing civil war and conflict in Syria.

£9,000 is needed urgently to secure a safe and welcoming home for a refugee family fleeing war in Syria.

See the Crowd funder here