SECONDARY SCHOOLS in England are being offered a funded opportunity to develop peer-led conflict resolution by Quakers in Britain.

Schools with a sixth form are invited to bid to host the project, which includes around £3,000 in funding for staff costs alongside training for staff and students in peer mediation.

Quakers in Britain will work closely with the successful school to help them become a centre of excellence in peer mediation. Peer mediation is conflict resolution for young people by young people, making schools safer and more peaceful.

Mediators learn how professionals help people find win:win solutions, whether in families, the workplace or even international relations. The training helps students develop their understanding of conflict and conflict resolution. It develops listening, empathy and mediation skills as well as confidence, leadership and self-efficacy.

The project has been made possible by funding from Talking Works, a charity who have previously taken mediators into schools to inspire young people to manage conflict.

Quakers in Britain are inviting secondary schools to bid to host this project. They are looking fvor a school which:

  • Has a sixth form and is committed to giving their Y12 students the opportunity to develop these skills.
  • Can build an effective working relationship with at least two feeder primary schools.
  • Are committed to developing their relational and restorative practice.
  • Are committed to developing youth leadership opportunities.
  • Has leadership capacity to support, implement and sustain the scheme. The scheme will require the equivalent of around 18 days of staff time across the academic year.
  • Is willing to share the knowledge, skills and experiences they develop with other schools across the country.

Peer mediation national co-ordinator for Quakers in Britain, Ben Harper, said: “Peer Mediation schemes have been proven to make a tangible difference to how whole school communities manage the inevitable conflict that occurs in communities. It can shift the whole school culture towards having greater empathy, understanding and respect for difference.”

He added: “This project will give a secondary school the opportunity to truly embed mediation into their school community and we hope the work done there will inspire other secondary schools across the country to introduce peer mediation schemes.”

* Further information and applications to host the project here.

Source: Quakers in Britain