The Education Directorate is committed to the implementation of restorative practices in schools and acknowledges how current initiatives align with restorative principles such as participation, fairness, shared problem solving and values such as equity, respect and inclusion. These core values underpin the Future of Education Strategy, a ten-year roadmap for the future of education in the ACT, that includes a strong focus on student wellbeing to support engagement with learning and the development of young people to make a positive, constructive contribution to the ACT community.
Restorative practice promotes inclusiveness, relationship-building and problem-solving, through such restorative methods as circle time for teaching and conflict resolution to conferences that bring victims, offenders and their supporters together to address wrongdoing. Instead of punitive measures such as detention and suspension which aggravate issues such as bullying, violence, poor academic performance and parental apathy, restorative practices encourage students to reflect on and take responsibility for their actions and come up with plans to repair harm. Restorative approaches can transform student behaviour and build healthy school communities.
The Education Directorate recognises there is potential to expand the use of restorative practices in ACT public schools and will continue to explore opportunities to intentionally and systematically embed restorative practice principles in relevant policies, procedures and programs.