Frequently Asked Questions

Restorative Practice / Restorative Justice

We think of Restorative justice (RJ) as both a process and an outcome to make things better when there has been an incident of harm. Restorative justice typically brings together those who have been harmed with those who have caused the harm, in a safe, supported, voluntary process for dialogue, with a view to repairing the harm done.

Sometimes people think its about ‘saying sorry’ but that’s really superficial and there’s a lot more to it than that!

Restorative practice is an umbrella term for the way people treat each other using Restorative principles, so that people are less likely to get hurt and so everyone in a community, or family, or school class, knows how to help and stop harm happening in the first place – like if people see that someone is potentially being bullied.

This is about avoiding harm from happening to individuals by giving groups of people the tools to proactively build community.

Restorative practice is rooted in ancient practices from indigenous cultures around the world. The use of circles to facilitate conversations in communities where everyone gets the chance to be heard with a talking piece. Also holding conflict or harm in the centre of the community, placing those involved in the harm in middle of creating the solution.

Restorative justice as a recognised movement was formed in the 1970s by pioneers such as Howard Zehr and Mark Yantzi.

Restorative practice gives us brilliant tools for dealing with conflict, but perhaps even more importantly, Restorative practice is a proactive, preventative approach; when we embed Restorative practice in the ways we live, learn and work together, we can strengthen our relationships and communities, reducing the incidents of conflict and harm that occur.

Adopting a Restorative approach has been shown to reduce exclusion rates, increase attendance and improve achievement in schools. Restorative practice can help with:

  • Transition from Primary to Y7
  • Student Voice
  • Attendance
  • Staff morale
  • Community
  • Character Education
  • Resilience
  • PSHE
  • Personal Development Welfare
  • British Values
  • Inclusion
  • Participation
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Citizenship
  • Transition from Y11 to FE

Restorative practice also supports the effective implementation of the following school policies:

  • Antibullying
  • Complaints
  • Behaviour
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Safeguarding

About RJ Working

RJ Working was set up as a Community Interest Company (CIC) in 2012, but as of January 2022 we have become a registered Charity (CIO).

You can find us on the Charity Commission’s Register of Charities here.

RJ Working is based in Cornwall and most of our work takes place across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. We are passionate about making a difference for the young people who live in Cornwall, we understand the unique challenges they face, as well as the unique opportunities that Cornwall can offer. We also see the potential for a whole systems approach to empowering communities to develop shared understandings of Restorative culture throughout the education system and into employment – thus creating a model to share around the country.

However, we do also work in other parts of the UK, and sometimes internationally. For example, we have recently provided training for Quaker Service in Northern Ireland, and the Association of Muslim Schools which is UK wide. If you would like to work with us, not matter where you are based, please do get in touch HERE.

The RJ Working Team are a multi-disciplinary team; made up of social workers, youth workers, community workers and former teachers. The team are all trained in Restorative Practice and bring a range of skills and experience in areas such the arts, environmental activism, social justice work, coaching and safeguarding. Take a look at who is in our team to find out more HERE.

RJ Working is accredited by the Restorative Justice Council as a training provider.

RJ Working’s primary purpose is to work directly with children and young people and equip them with Restorative skills, language and principles to take leadership and shape a more fair and compassionate society in their communities and beyond.

However, we do also work with the adults who support young people and can offer a range of training for staff in schools and colleges as well as anyone working across the education, employment, health and well-being sectors.

We are also keen to support projects and conversations involving the arts, environment and addressing harms to identity, especially racism. See our adult trainings HERE.

The majority of our work is in secondary schools, primary schools and colleges. We also work in the wider community and in partnership with community organisations such as art galleries, environmental projects and volunteering organisations.

If you would like to explore working with us, please do get in touch HERE.

About working with us

We run many training programmes throughout the year, and lots of them are open to the public.

For more information about our courses, click HERE.

Yes!

We regularly design and deliver bespoke training courses for schools, colleges, social-work teams, councils, universities and other organisations. In fact, we believe that when whole teams train together, it doubles the value of the training – teams benefit from strengthened relationships and team ethos, deeper trust and a shared understanding of Restorative practices.

If you would like us to develop a bespoke training course for your team, please get in touch and we will be happy to explore it with you. CONTACT US

Our charges are designed to be affordable, to cover our organisational costs and to ensure high quality delivery from skilled and experienced practitioners.

The costs of our training programmes vary. Some of our direct work with children and young people is subsidised by charitable funding.

If covering costs is difficult for you, please do get in touch with us, we never want cost to be a barrier to working together, and discounts and subsidies may be available. CONTACT US

Our workshops and training programmes are experiential and interactive. The ideal number of participants for most of our training programmes is 10-12. Smaller groups enable learning at greater depth and allow for more peer-to-peer sharing and higher value experiences.

However, we also pride ourselves on being flexible and adaptable and we have ways of working with any number of people at a time. For example, in our Step Up Programme for Primary Schools we work with whole year groups at a time, divided into groups of roughly 10.

If you have a group you want us to work with, no matter how big or how small, please get in touch to explore the possibilities with us HERE.

Our training programmes vary in length.

We offer 3 day programmes, 1 day programmes, half day programmes, and programmes which can be rolled out over a number of weeks at a time to suit you or the young people that you work with.

Take a look at our training page to see our regular offers or contact us if you have a specific request HERE.

We deliver training face to face and online.

We value working face to face with people wherever possible, and we are happy to come to you to deliver in-house training, or work together to identify a suitable venue.

The pandemic has required us all to work in new ways, and we have adapted many of our training programmes to be delivered online over the past 2 years, to great success. This has enabled us to increase our reach too; across the UK and even internationally.

Take a look at our training page to see our regular offers and contact us if you have a specific request HERE.

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    Accreditations, Associations and Funders

    Our expertise has been formally recognised by the Restorative Justice Council with the award of their Registered Training Provider status. All of our Practitioners are either Associate or Accredited Members of the Restorative Justice Council.

    The RJC promotes quality Restorative Practice for everyone in the UK.

    Partnerships