Restorative Approaches in Schools (RAIS)


Ferndale Community School is developing its a approaches to becoming a RAIS school.

Restorative approaches (RA) are all about building, maintaining, and repairing relationships in any context, and can enable amicable separation where relationships break down. Restorative approaches is an ethos and value base for working with people, rather than to or for them, wherever possible.  Its overarching aim is the building up, maintaining and repairing of relationships.

RA includes prevention and responsive work, but always works with the same value base that includes non-judgement, openness, transparency, mutual respect and inclusion.  To be “restorative” means to believe that decisions are best made, and conflicts resolved, by all those most directly affected by them- “co-creation.” Restorative co-operation with local communities can help those most affected by an issue to work together to problem solve some of the toughest problems and conflicts.


Restorative approaches when implemented in a whole school approach:

Develop – emotional literacy, conflict resolution skills, truth recognition, accountability, responsibility
Improve – behaviour, attendance, learning, teaching
Increase – empathy, happiness, positive life skills,
Reduce – exclusions, detentions, conflict, bullying, need for sanctions
Compliment – All Lessons

We recommend that schools develop community, social and communication skills by using a series of restorative circle technique

Check in and Check out – Develop circle skills, taking turns, listening to other, develop community
Icebreakers – Focus attention, enjoy learning, practice social skills
Restorative Norms – Develop negotiation skills, verbalising concepts, defining needs
Aims for the day – Develop aspirations, identify skills, achieving goals

By using restorative conferencing participants will

Develop – truth telling skills, responsibility, accountability
Learn about – real impact of actions, consequences

Be able to – make amends, show remorse, change behaviour, agree a way forward


Restorative “Approaches” (RA) has developed restorative practices further to include proactive prevention work, and the deliberate formation of positive relationships and communities through specific processes.
Restorative Approaches embrace the day to day skills involved in pre-empting conflicts and harm.  It pro-actively builds relationships and community, as well as reacting/ responding when things go wrong.
Restorative “justice” (RJ) responds to harm and conflict.  It focuses on specific interventions or techniques designed to facilitate dialogue and repair between those involved when conflicts or harm occurs.