Best Practice

Restorative practice: Placing relationships at the heart of teaching

Every day, in lots of different ways, our students ask: do I matter to you, do you notice me, do I belong here? Mark Finnis looks at why relationships are the most important thing in teaching and offers some tips

Restorative practice describes a way of being, an underpinning ethos, which enables us to build and maintain healthy relationships. It provides a strong framework within which we can promote a whole-school ethos founded on the importance of relationships.

This includes a range of approaches to managing conflict and tensions in a way that repairs harm and mends relationships if and when those relationships do break down.

I am sure that few teachers would disagree that the relationships they have with their students matter, but I know that many feel they do not have the time to invest in them thanks to the stresses of our results-focused system, our crowded classrooms and our overcrowded curriculum.

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