Mediation at School
So what does school mediation thus consist of in the Belgian francophone landscape? At the heart of this collective work, the investigation carried out by Baptiste Dethier, founded on a battery of semi-structured interviews (in other words interviews with a flexible structure of themes) with 27 holders of school mediator posts, allows us to discern its contours. And to make a first observation: there has been a considerable boom in mediation services. The largest, the French Speaking Community of Belgium’s School Mediation Service, is double headed: a Brussels section (the SMSB) as well as a Walloon section (the SMSW). The former has some 56 ‘internal’ mediators, in other words each attached to some forty institutions in the Brussels region, whilst the latter has some thirty ‘external’ mediators spread over the different geographical areas of Wallonia and who only intervene on request. Their missions essentially relate to the prevention of violence or the phenomenon of dropping out of school. In the Brussels region there are also ‘local authority mediation services’ active in almost all of the 19 local authorities in the territory. These services are made up of external mediators whose missions are also centred on prevention and information. We will not extend this list any further, which could also have addressed diocesan services and those deployed by the city authorities.