Relational educations is an emphasis on adding values to education, by fostering learning, enhancing student’s participation and enriching the relational process itself. There are three main components to the relational model, Developing Relationships, Responding and Calming and Repairing and Restoring. Due to situations out of their control, many young people with care experience face challenges that can become barriers for them to succeed. With the right support and provisions we can keep young people engaged with learning and participating in their community. Everyone needs to feel safe, cared for and have a sense of belonging for us to be able to participate fully. Unfortunately, for some young people their behaviour within school institutions can be difficult and they can be labelled “bad” and punished rather than supported to understand their own moods and actions. Punitive approaches and exclusion may re-traumatise young people with care experience and further embed the behaviours causing concern. Attempting to understand individual behaviours through a Relational, regulatory and restorative approaches are more effective in supporting the development of internal control and regulation. Not all behaviours are a matter of choice and therefore external control will not be effective in changing behaviour.
A quick overview of the relational model –
Responding and calming:
Repairing and restoring:
Embedding relational practice within schools requires a whole school approach. This should involve:
This is only a quick overview and cannot provide an in-depth understanding of the relational model – you can read up more on this model in the links below.
Here is a document that has great information on the importance and benefits of relational based-practice within education settings and is the main source of information for this guide.
You can also read more on relational approaches through the Scottish governments better relationships, better learning policy guidance here.