School Projects

Children's handsThere are a number of ways that we work with schools.

An area that we are increasingly working with schools on, both in the private and public arena is with delivering conflict resolution workshops with pupils and conflict management courses for teachers.

Conflict Resolution Workshops

This course is run in primary or secondary schools over a 6 week period for 1 ½ hour sessions with either whole year groups or selected pupils (of groups of around 15 pupils). Our trainers are both mediators, and mediator trainers.  They deliver the course at the school, taking into account any specific areas where training is needed. It’s a very interactive workshop with the use of multi-media, role-plays, discussions and drama under a theoretical backdrop. The purpose of the course is to enable pupils to develop the tools to engage in conflict constructively and uses some of the tools of mediation. We can tailor the course to any specific needs of your school.

The course covers:

  • The nature of conflict.

    Conflict is not always a “bad” thing. It can be used constructively and creatively to find solutions to difficult problems. Differences of views and opinions help create a diverse and interesting world. If we all agreed on everything, the quality and interest of our world would be greatly diminished.
     

  • How conflict can escalate.

    When conflict escalates it can soon get out of hand and appear unmanageable. Once someone has stepped on to “the conflict escalator” it can be very difficult to get off or come back down. Escalated conflict often resulted in anger, upset and often violent confrontation.
     

  • The iceberg of conflict.

    We can assist ourselves by learning to look at what is really going on in any given conflict. Conflict is like an iceberg in that by far the greatest part of it lies beneath the surface. We need to consider what is really beneath the surface appearance of any conflict. In order to be open in our thinking about any given conflict we need to avoid making assumptions, jumping to conclusions, or approaching issues with prejudice. We need to give ourselves the best chance of seeing the whole of the iceberg.

Discussions and role plays on the course focus on the following areas:

  • Understanding and being understood are key elements in any successful conflict resolution. There are (at least) two sides to every conflict. Clearly delivered statements could enable ‘the other side’ to understand a point of view contributed to better relations. Asking helpful questions of the other side allows for a better informed discussion.
     
  • Looking at some of the neurological responses to “fight or flight” and what could be done to overcome trigger responses.
     
  • Discussing the techniques which the students can adopt to better manage conflict in their lives, include the following:
    • Pausing before engaging
       
    • Allowing oneself to find a calmness before responding
       
    • Adopting a calm tone of voice
       
    • Assessing the importance of any potential conflict to them
       
    • Focussing on providing clear information and getting clear understanding
       
    • Not imposing demands on others within a given conflict
       
    • Knowing when to engage and when to wait
       
    • Acknowledging “red flags”
       
    • Being able to state clearly how another’s behaviour has made one feel, rather than making accusations which might escalate conflict
       
    • Understanding, and adopting helpful, body language
       
    • Avoiding reproachful responses

For more information please contact the service manager, Jenny.

Conflict Management Course

We have developed a one day course for teachers in primary or secondary schools. The aim of the course is to understand how conflict arises in the workplace, what conflict is and how to resolve it through the tools of mediation. It is specifically focused on the school setting and looks at some of the nature of disputes that arise within schools (be that between teachers, teachers and management or between parents and the school).

The course covers:

  • Looking at the different models of conflict and styles of conflict
  • Empowering participants to deal with conflict in a positive way
  • Introducing mediation and discuss the key principles: future thinking, win/win, positions and interests, active listening etc.
  • Encouraging participants to start developing the skills of a mediator (through specific school-related role plays).

The course is very interactive - with a mixture of theory, discussion groups and role plays.  We can tailor the course to any specific needs that might be relevant to your school.

This course can either be delivered at a school during an inset day or WMS are running 4 one day courses like this at their offices for teachers from different schools. For more information please contact the service manager, Jenny.

School Fee Disputes:

We have been asked by schools to provide mediation over school fee disputes. When there is a dispute between the school and parent over unpaid fee, Wandsworth Mediation Service can help to resolve this. The school is able to “hand over” the dispute to WMS by giving us details of the amount in dispute, any relevant information, and the contact details for the parents. We will then contact the parents and invite them to mediation.

Alternatively, the parents can contact us in the first instance, to give us all of the background information, and we can contact the school and invite them to mediate.

Every single one of the mediations we have been involved with over school fees have reached an agreement, saving time and minimising stress for both parties.

For more information please contact the commercial case manager, Selina.