Chris Dyson, Head Teacher, Parklands Primary School
I adore the fact that one of the first things Mark addresses in this book is the 'L word' - love - and that in our school communities we need to 'spread it thick, like my mum spreads butter'.
He uses strong evidence to show that when schools use restorative practice effectively, both attendance and attainment improve. This is no woolly idea, and he provides a cohesive strategy for changing schools towards becoming relational. A happy, well respected child is a child who can learn and engage.
In these times of isolating pupils, he shows us that the way to reduce negative behaviours and communication is inclusion over exclusion and problem-solving over punishment. However, he doesn't share a one-size-fits-all mentality here; instead he offers a plethora of fantastic ideas to build this change.
His writing is quite simply a groundbreaking dive into the importance of social capital, relationships, humanity and compassion - in fact all the things that we know bring out the best in a whole community.
Independent Thinking on Restorative Practice is a compelling and articulate read, and by the end you are brimming with ideas and love.