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Empower your students to resolve conflicts for themselves and their peers with this comprehensive guide to making peer mediation and mentoring happen within your school. By Dr Belinda Hopkins

Mediation and other restorative approaches give those with conflicts or problems a chance to discuss what has happened and find a way forward for themselves. You and your school may already have active and effective measures and activities in place which are designed to help students develop a sense of self, build communities with their peers and deal with difficult situations. The next step is to train young people to support the staff and their fellow students in offering a listening ear when there are problems and helping people to deal with the inevitable conflicts that occur daily in a busy school community.

This is where peer mediation and mentoring come in. The Peer Mediation and Mentoring Trainer’s Manual will take you from the first steps in trying to bring the whole school community on board and identifying those young people most suited to be mediators and mentors, to training them in the required skills and then working with them to set up and run a peer mediation or peer mentoring service in the school,or better still – both!

Using this guide you can bring about a practice within your school that will:

  • Enable students to find support and help easily and to resolve conflicts quickly
  • Teach staff to empower mentors and mediators to better assist students, rather than doing the job themselves
  • Improve the school experience for students and their overall performance
  • Teach students social skills that will be useful to them throughout their life

The Peer Mediation and Mentoring Trainer’s Manual will allow you to make peer mediation and mentoring happen within your school by helping you to:

  • Identify suitable mentors and mediators from among your students
  • Offer the relevant training to mentors in their role as listeners and to mediators, who will not only listen but also help people to resolve their own conflicts
  • Engage and generate support from the whole school in the peer mediation and mentoring process, from senior staff and governors to parents
  • Empower those with a problem to find ways forward for themselves and , in so doing, feel better about themselves and perhaps also those with whom they may have been having problems

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