WHEN six-year-old Ruby Jackson told her mum that she had "failed in her mission" to make someone happy at school, she did not realise that three years later, her mum and 101 children would be celebrating the use of mediation to help their peers enjoy school.

Ruby’s mum Claire is a specialist family mediator who helps families who are separating or divorcing, with a focus on empowering parents to solve their own problems, rather than going to court.

Claire was struck by the idea that children could also train to be mediators, and since then she has trained over 100 children who can now help their classmates sort out disagreements before they escalate.

The strategy is approved by Ofsted and Estyn, and last year Hay-on-Wye Primary were awarded Young Mediator of the Year by the Civil Mediation Council.

Last week the National Lottery funded a celebration at the Left Bank for 7 local schools who have been running a Peer Mediation Service.

The children had fun, games, and practised mediating with children from other schools.

They were joined by Paralympic Gold Medal winner Josie Pearson, who let the children hold her very, very heavy medal and Elissa Swinglehurst, Cabinet Member for Children and Families in Herefordshire.

Wye Valley Mediation is one of seven organisations in the UK to have been approved by the College of Mediators to provide Peer Mediation in schools.

Funding for two more schools this academic year is available with further funding available in the Autumn.

If you are a teacher, school governor or parent and would like more information about introducing peer mediation in your school, contact Claire Jackson at Wye Valley Mediation on 01432 806 222.