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What are the best ways of tackling bullying in school?

Key statement

There is no single right way to tackle bullying which will work for all schools, rather the individual school chooses an approach (or a combination of approaches) which will be adapted to suit its own circumstances. An important part of many of these approaches is making the school a positive, caring place. Such a school would send out a strong message that bullying will not be tolerated and would encourage an atmosphere of openness, where children were encouraged to tell if they were being bullied.

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Comment

This question can only be given a conditional answer at present. It may well be that we do not yet know the 'best' ways to tackle bullying and all that we can say is that schools have found the strategies described helpful. The research aimed at evaluating different anti-bullying strategies which has been carried out in Scandinavia, England and elsewhere, has helped us to understand the advantages and disadvantages of these strategies. But to be able to say which were the 'best' strategies we would have to be sure that all possible strategies had been evaluated in a fully representative sample of schools with a 'control' group of schools for comparison - where no anti-bullying work was taking place.

Even then, all we would be able to say is that one or more strategies seemed to work well at that particular time and in that particular place. There is no guarantee that the same strategies would work as well in a different part of the world at a different time.

However, the 'key statement' above would command the support of most of the researchers working in the field at present and, general as it is, describes the 'best' way to tackle bullying as we understand it at present.
(Andrew Mellor)
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Do you want to find out more?

More 1 - Scottish anti-bullying pack
More 2 - policy and curriculum
More 3 - Scottish study
More 4 - Praise and Reward System
More 5 - Bullying Prevention Programme
More 6 - 1990s survey
More 7 - 16,000 children surveyed
More 8 - Participant Role Approach
More 9 - Circle Time (includes video)
More 10 - No Blame Approach
More 11 - PeaceBuilders
More 12 - positive behaviour
More 1 - 12 on one page!

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