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Restorative Practices in Classrooms

Apr 2008
  • Ages: 
  • Format: 
    Spiral bound
  • Size: 

Rethinking behaviour management through the use of restorative justice methods in the classroom.

This clearly presented manual takes practitioners in gradual stages through the harsh realities of confronting wrong-doing and injustice in school. The traditional approach seeks simply to apportion blame and punish the wrongdoer. There is now strong evidence that restorative justice can be effective in reducing problem behaviour, and in engendering a sense of fairness and justice among all stakeholders in the school community.

The book provides:

  • An explanation of restorative justice and behaviour management
  • A wide range of restorative practice measures
  • Step-by-step instructions for planning and facilitating individual, small group and whole class conferences
  • Frequently asked questions and answers
  • Key master documents that can be adapted
  • Case studies.

Full of practical suggestions and techniques for dealing with problem behaviour, whether trivial or serious.

Age: 7-16


  • Foreword
  • About this manual
  • Chapter 1 Rethinking our approaches to managing behaviour
  • Chapter 2 Restorative practices - a continuum
  • Chapter 3 Working proactively - classroom conferences and teaching and learning
  • Chapter 4 Classroom conferences - responding to wrongdoing
  • Chapter 5 Individual, small and medium group conferences
  • Chapter 6 Facilitating conferences - understanding the script
  • Chapter 7 What if?
  • Appendix
  • Classroom conference script
  • The 'no blame' conference script
  • Classroom conference report
  • Classroom conference evaluation
  • Conference facilitator checklist
  • Letter to parents
  • Recommended reading
  • Case studies
  • About the authors

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Margaret Thorsborne & David Vinegrad

Margaret Thorsborne has a long history in education, guidance and counselling. Her passion has always been to find better ways to build and rebuild relationships between teachers, students and other members of the school community, to enhance teaching and learning outcomes. She and like-minded colleagues were therefore keen to discover more effective interventions to deal with those sorts of incidents in schools such as bullying, abuse, conflict and violence which did not respond positively to traditional punitive sanctions. She was, therefore, inspired by stories of conferencing then being used in justice agencies.

Always a risk-taker, Margaret convened the first ever school-based conference with a little telephone coaching from a police officer and has never looked back! She managed a ground-breaking pilot of community conferencing in her educational region, and is now consultant to a number of government education departments in Australia and abroad wishing to change the policy, practice and culture of behaviour management in schools. Now a private consultant, she continues to work in schools as well as in private and public sector workplaces, convening conferences for high-level conflict and inappropriate behaviour and providing training in conference facilitation for middle and senior management.

David Vinegrad is a veteran of working in a diversity of school settings and undertaking a wide range of roles in classroom teaching, student counselling and management. His work experience covers several states of Australia and he is now involved in International Schooling in Japan. His interest in Restorative Justice stemmed from a concern about the use of traditional school-based measures when wrongdoing occurred. Student behaviour did not change, much conflict remained unresolved and the chance to promote positive teacher-student relationships was often lost. David was greatly encouraged when he undertook some professional development in Restorative Justice and has since become an innovative leader in classroom approaches.

After doing some pioneering work in Tasmania with like-minded educators and police he moved to Victoria to continue spreading the word. At the time of writing David is working 'restoratively' in classrooms with his students as well as acting as consultant to the Ministry of Education Singapore and a number of International schools in Japan.