Many schools have a Peer Mediation Program which empowers students as Peer Mediators.
Selected students are trained to mediate disputes which occur between other students and assist them to find their own solutions to the conflict.
Peer Mediation can be part of a school’s Anti-Bullying Plan and/or Anti-Racism Plan. To set up a Peer Mediation Program a school needs one or more teachers who are prepared to organise and run the program.
Often student conflicts start off as small incidents in the playground but sorting out these small conflicts can take up a lot of time for teachers and teacher executives. Referring these small incidents to trained peer mediators can be a win-win situation.
There are many benefits for students and teachers involved in a Peer Mediation program. Lower incidences of conflict have been seen to result in less truancy, fewer conflict referrals to teachers and less disciplinary actions. In fact an overall improvement of the overall school climate is evident.
Those in the conflict are required to attend peer mediation where they are accountable for their actions. Students are responsible for working towards their own resolution and agreements for the prevention of further conflict between them, witnessed and guided by older peer mediators who can later follow up with the students.