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TITLE OF GOOD PRACTICE:

Olweus Anti-Bullying Intervention Program

KEYWORDS:

Bullying at school, extensive research, tested system

GOOD PRACTICE TYPOLOGY:

Transnational Project

TARGET GROUPS:

Teachers, School Directors, Parents,

WORKING GROUP COORDINATING THE INITIATIVE:

Nationwide campaign against bullying in Norway

COUNTRY WHERE IT TOOK PLACE:

Norway, Europe, USA, Worldwide

LANGUAGE OF THE REVIEW:

English

DEFINITION OF TARGET GROUP:

Parents, Policy Makers, Teachers, Researchers, School Directors.

DESCRIPTION OF THE GOOD PRACTICE:

The Olweus Intervention Program aims to reduce as much as possible - ideally eliminate completely - existing bully/victim problems in and out of the school setting, and also aims to prevent the development of new problems. The program covers not only direct bullying such as open attacks, words gestures etc but also indirect bullying e.g. if a student is excluded from a group. The program also aims 'to achieve better peer relations at school, and to create conditions that make it possible for both victims and bullies to get along and function better in and out of a school setting' (Olweus 1978.ch.9).

To achieve these goals the program requires two general conditions (1) That adults at school and, to some degree, at home become aware of the extent of bullying /victim problems in 'their' school; (2) That the adults decide to engage themselves, with some degree of seriousness, in changing the situation.

The specific actions required are split into three sections: Measures at the School e.g. Initial Questionnaire to determine the extent of the problem, School Conference, improved supervision especially during breaks and lunchtime, parent circles etc; Measures at the Class Level e.g. Class rules against bullying, regular class meetings etc; Measures at the Individual Level e.g. Serious talks with bullies, victims and parents, Help from 'neutral' students, discussion groups for parents of bullies and victims etc.

RESULTS:

This is not the place to give a scientific report on the program however the main evaluation findings about the program are:-

1) A marked reduction - by 50% or more - in bully/victim problems during the two years following introduction of the programme
2) The effects of the programme were more marked after two years than after one year
3) There was no 'displacement' of bullying from the school to whilst travelling to and from school
4) There was a clear reduction in general antisocial behaviour such as vandalism, fighting, truancy etc
5) An improvement of various aspects of the 'social climate' of the classes
6) The intervention programme not only affected existing victimisation problems, it also reduced the number (and percentage) of new victims
7) There was an increase in student satisfaction with school life

INDICATORS:

Definition of bullying or cyberbullying, Detection protocol, Intervention protocol, Help-line/counseling, Parent training/meetings, Playground supervision, Disciplinary methods, Classroom management, Teacher training, Classroom rules, Whole-school anti-bullying policy, School conferences, Information for parents, Cooperative group work, Peer support, Intensity teachers (10 h. or more).

EVALUATION:

The Olweus Bullying Prevention Programme is the most researched and best-known bullying prevention program available today. Schools and other institutions around the world have implemented the program and achieved a reduction in bullying behavior and school violence.

The program has been found to be consistently effective and successful in achieving it's goals but relies for success on the degree of determination to eliminate or reduce a bullying problem from the adults involved e.g. Headteachers, teachers, school support staff, parents etc.

Given the importance of educational success for success in later life it is crucial that young people are not distracted from their studies by bullying and in our view, this is one of the best preventative strategies available. pages

COMMENT:

For an overview of the program and a series of testimonial videos see: http://www.olweus.org/public/testimonials.page

REFERENCES TO OTHER EVALUATION:

This summary is based on Dan Olweus' own book 'Bullying at School' but the program was selected because of the many positive comments identified from extensive internet research. e.g. http://www.olweus.org/public/index.page - this web site describes the program as 'The World's Foremost Bullying Prevention Program'.

NAME OF COMPILER:

Roger Murfin

NAME OF INSTITUTION:

Wilsthorpe Community School

ROLE:

Business Manager

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