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TITLE OF GOOD PRACTICE:

The No Blame Approach

KEYWORDS:

Using empathy, student led, no punishment or retribution, effective, improves self esteem, the past is the past,

GOOD PRACTICE TYPOLOGY:

Training Course for Teachers

TARGET GROUPS:

Teachers, School Directors, Policy Makers

WORKING GROUP COORDINATING THE INITIATIVE:

George Robinson & Barbara Maines

COUNTRY WHERE IT TOOK PLACE:

United Kingdom

LANGUAGE OF THE REVIEW:

English

DEFINITION OF TARGET GROUP:

Policy Makers, Teachers, School Directors.

DESCRIPTION OF THE GOOD PRACTICE:

This approach works on how people feel rather than who has done what to whom. It is divided into seven stages and starts with talking to the victim and establishing how they feel rather than creating a list of what has happened to them. This is then followed with a meeting of the people involved. The group will include children suspected of carrying out the bullying, reliable and supportive students, plus those who stood by and watched. The problem is then explained to the group and their help is enlisted to solve the problem. The facilitator explains that nobody is in trouble or going to be punished, that there is a joint responsibility to help the student who is being victimised and that they are there to come up with solutions to the problem. Ideas and suggestions will then usually come from the group that they can action. The final stage is to meet with each of the individuals in the group to see how things have been going.

RESULTS:

Eastern Surrey Health Authority worked in alliance with their Local Education Authority, Educational Psychologists and schools from the state and independent sector to develop a whole school approach for dealing with bullying. The No Blame Approach was adopted as an effective response because it can be used together with more general work on awareness and prevention. After a pilot exercise the model is now used to help schools develop their own approaches. Here are two quotations from local schools:
'Development through the curriculum, and a whole schooo approach to anti-bullying behaviour, have greatly enhanced awareaness among pupils, staff and parents. The response and empathy that have been generated through our policy have led to a successful implemnation of the 'No Blame Approach' - Head of Senior School, Ewell Castle school.

'.... because of our school's approach to discipline and the care of children, the ideas behind the 'No Blame Approach' were compatible with the school ehtos. we ahve found, since using this approach, that the children are more helpful and responsive to information and solutions. There is much more openness in communication, and teachers are more aware of their role in dealing with bullying behaviour' - Head, Kingswood House School

The 'No Blame Approach' method of dealing with bullying has been used successfully in schools in the Nottingham and Derby areas for many years.


INDICATORS:

Intervention protocol, Parent training/meetings, Disciplinary methods, Teacher training, Whole-school anti-bullying policy, Information for parents, Cooperative group work, Peer support.

EVALUATION:

This approach works on the premise that punishment just leads to further bullying. What the victims always want is an end to the bullying. They do not wany retribution and they are not entitled to revenge. The No Bullying Approach does not answer all of the questions but does add a very practical method to the adult's repertoire of techniques for combating bullying.

The No Blame Approach takes a problem solving approach. It does not mean that bullies are treated softly. Victims are always given support. The action is clear, firm and cohesive. It is a long term effective approach.

We are not saying that the 'No Blame Approach' is the only method that ever works, but we do think that experience has shown it to be usually the most effective and least risky for the victim. What we are saying is that this is a method that is straight forward, easy to use and understand, and is based on sound and rigorous philosophy that fits well with principles that most schools will accept. Furthermore it has been used with great success by hundreds of teachers, some of whom were initially sceptical. pages

NAME OF COMPILER:

Mick Flower

NAME OF INSTITUTION:

Wilsthorpe Community School

ROLE:

Assistant Headteacher

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