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TITLE OF DOCUMENT:

The Use and Effectiveness of Anti-Bullying Strategies in Schools

NAME OF AUTHOR(S):

Fran Thompson and Peter K Smith

NAME OF PUBLISHER:

Department for Education

LANGUAGE OF DOCUMENT:

English

LANGUAGE OF THE REVIEW:

English

KEYWORDS:

Research Report, evaluation of a wide range of strategies including proactive strategies, peer support strategies, and reactive strategies

DOCUMENT TYPOLOGY:

Research

TARGET GROUP OF PUBLICATION:

Policy Makers, Teachers, Researchers, School Directors.

SIZE OF THE PUBLICATION:

Over 100 pages

DESCRIPTION OF CONTENTS:

This report on the effectiveness of anti-bullying interventions started in September 2008 and lasted until November 2010. It was conducted by the Unit for School and Family Studies, based at Goldsmiths, University of London, with support from the Anti-Bullying Alliance.

The project aimed to examine which strategies schools in England use to deal with episodes of bullying, and which are supported by local authorities, why schools choose these strategies, how choice of strategy varies by sector and type of bullying; to evaluate the effectiveness of a range of strategies, from the perspective of the anti-bullying lead, pupils and other school personnel; and to make a final report and recommendations to Department for Education (DfE). A further aim was to provide some evaluation of the peer mentoring pilot scheme commissioned by the former Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).

There are two main research elements - a national survey of schools and local authorities (1378 school questionnaires and 47 local authority questionnaires plus individual case studies from selected schools.

Almost every strategy tried in UK schools is considered and evaluated including proactive, reactive and peer support strategies. The report then finishes with a full and comprehensive list of recommendations.

REVIEWER’S COMMENTS ON THE DOCUMENT:

This report, published in April 2011, is superb and is certainly one of the best, if not the best, anti-bullying resource we have evaluated for this project. Over 200 pages long, the report is based on careful and comprehensive research, and it is packed with useful information about UK anti-bullying strategies and their effectiveness in schools which have actually tried them.

Section 5 is particularly useful and includes 'whole school / general recommendations, and a comprehensive list of good practice including those listed below and many more.

1) Having a range of interventions is fundamental as all students and bullying incidents are individual. What works for one will not necessarily work for all.
2) Having a consistent approach is important for a whole-school approach (e.g. restorative approaches; rights respecting schools; assertive discipline). It needs to be expressed in the anti-bullying policy; all staff need to be trained; students briefed; parents informed; peer supporters trained and embedded in the curriculum.
3) Staff training including knowledge about bullying, and the range of anti-bullying interventions, should be a part of initial and ongoing teacher training.
4) Auditing for bullying behaviour on a regular basis provides base line information from the students about the levels and types of bullying prevalent in the school.
5) Multiple reporting systems should be in place that are non-stigmatising and exposing; identify vulnerable students at intake; track student behaviour to target additional peer support; and provide evidence for the effectiveness of interventions
6) A centralised recording system which identifies vulnerable students at intake; tracks student behaviour for evaluation of support and provides evidence for the effectiveness of interventions including peer support.
7) Regular evaluation of anti-bullying work is vital to know whether what the school uses works.

Overall this is an excellent report which is strongly recommended.

nb. For those who may find 200+ pages too long there is also a comprehensive and helpful Executive Summary at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/DFE-RB098.pdf



NAME OF THE REVIEWING ORGANISATION:

Wilsthorpe Community School

I Am Not Scared Project
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