Bringing People on Board
and Establishing the Vision
Running an Introductory Workshop
A key ingredient to school success is the extent to which the values of
school life are shared among all the members of the community. Life
outside may be very different, but in school there is a code of conduct and
of behaviour which all try to sustain in their dealings with each other and
the outside world. (Brighouse and Woods 2000, p.55)
Before embarking on a project that will involve everyone in a school community, it is advisable to consult with as many people as possible in that community. This is congruent with the restorative principle of inclusion and of involving those affected by an issue to have a say in finding a way forward. This chapter describes several ways in which one can engage people in the project at the outset. It is a practical chapter with advice on how to run an introductory workshop. It is also theoretical, in that it explains the key values underpinning a restorative project and the way in which these relate to the values held already by members of a school community.
It might be tempting to wish for a magic wand, a quick fix that would change all the individuals in an organisation overnight, so that one morning the ethos, the commitment, the systems, the skills and the time for restorative interventions would all miraculously be in place. But in fact this would be to miss the point. The journey to change is what changes people! Transforming a school, or indeed any organisation, to a place where restorative justice informs the way people interact daily with each other needs to be done restoratively. Everyone who will be affected by the changes needs to be involved and feel that their views are being respected and taken into consideration.