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Table 4 Setting, Context and Implementation Features of Restorative Practice Intervention [23]

From: Developing a whole-school mental health and wellbeing intervention through pragmatic formative process evaluation: a case-study of innovative local practice within The School Health Research network




Implementation Theoryc

Implementation Processd

Implementation Strategye

Implementation Agentsf

Implementation Outcomesg

Mixed comprehensive, secondary school (1700 students) in Wales. Approx. one quarter of students live in England. Lower than the national average in terms of social deprivation


Perception among external stakeholders that restorative practice can work in the school because relatively low social deprivation, with less antisocial behaviour. Also assumption of greater cohesion in family and community groups

Contextual features

• International: OECD countries compare academic attainment of school students using the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)

• Regional: Wales score the lowest of UK countries on PISA rankings,. Strong policy focus to enhance academic attainment

• Regional: Independent curriculum review in Wales. Recommended changes in approach to attainment and focus on promotion of health and wellbeing

• Regional: New legislation in Wales “Well-being of Future Generations Act, 2015” sets legislative frame for public bodies to act in a sustainable way that promotes health and wellbeing.


• Embedding of restorative practice as core part of pedagogy aligned with Welsh curriculum review and with new legislative context, but competing pressures regarding academic attainment and school regulatory body targets create opposing tensions and demand

• Structures to sustain the intervention requires reflexive practice and adaptability

Diffusion of innovation, where restorative practice initially adoptedby the senior leadership. Recognition that staff and student groups would adopt the intervention at different times and in different ways (e.g. “early” vs. “late” adopters)

Theory used to guide and frame experience of implementation over time. Senior leadership use diffusion of innovation terminology to explain process

Implementation process described as “organic”. Started with staff engagement. Moved to re-alignment of school policies and clarification of school values. Transitioned to establishing restorative practice in the form of routines that will sustain the intervention

Funding, training of school staff and students, focus on engagement of innovators and early adopters, use of form tutors to build staff-student class relationship, curriculum review, policy and systems alignment

Strategy involves embedding organisational structures that sustain restorative practice (e.g. staff selection, expectation of staff training, the way in which staff meetings are conducted, classroom routines, how the student council is run, expectation of student involvement in high stakes decisions)

Government funding, multi-agency workers, governors, school staff, students and parents

Intervention is fully embedded in the school

  1. aThe specific physical location where the intervention is put into practice; b Socio-economic, socio-cultural, ethical, legal, political epidemiological, geographical domains; c Attempts to explain the causal mechanisms of implementation; d Social processes through which interventions are operationalized in an organization or community; e Methods and means to ensure the adoption and sustainment of interventions; f Individuals and organisations engaged with deciding to implement a given intervention, implementing it or receiving it; g The result or implication of the implementation effort