School bullies being brought to book

SCHOOL bullies in Somerset are going to be made to face their victims and see the hurt and damage they do in a new scheme being introduced in schools across the area.

SCHOOL bullies in Somerset are going to be made to face their victims and see the hurt and damage they do in a new scheme being introduced in schools across the area.

Fairlands Middle School in Cheddar is one of 17 in the county pioneering the scheme, called Restorative Justice, and teachers say it is proving a great success.

Now the county council wants to introduce Restorative Justice in all schools in the area to make youngsters understand the consequences of their actions.

Under the scheme, bullies have to sit down with a trained Restorative Justice leader and explain their actions to their victim. The leader is usually a teacher, parent or other school member of staff that has had special training.


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Headteacher at Fairlands Middle School, Peter Elmy, says the scheme has worked well at his school since it was brought in in February.

Mr Elmy said: “We have noticed reoccurrence of incidents is less likely with the scheme.

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“Detention is obviously a good deterrent and punishment but the child doesn’t understand the consequences of their actions.

“Under the scheme the child gets a chance to find out what harm they caused. It is a chance for them to understand the aggrieved person’s point of view.”

Since February, the scheme has been used in the school to combat instances of bullying and conflicts between pupils.

Mr Elmy added: “It seems to work really well. One child said to me it was more difficult than being in detention because they had to see how their actions had emotionally affected someone else.”

Although Restorative Justice has already been used in the school, a special assembly will be held on Tuesday so children can find out more information.

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