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Guiding Framework for Policy Approaches to School Bullying and Violence


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Title: Guiding Framework for Policy Approaches to School Bullying and Violence

Guiding Framework for Policy Approaches to School
Bullying and Violence
  • Mona OMoore
  • Education Department, Trinity College, Dublin
  • A joint OECD, Norwegian Ministry of Education and
    Stavanger University College Conference,
    Stavanger, Norway, September 5-8, 2004

School Bullying and Violence Complex and
  • Most powerful risk factors Commission on
    Children Violence Gulbenkian Foundation, 1995
  • Violent and humiliating forms of discipline
  • Attitudes that approve of violence in the home
    and world outside
  • Adults behaving violently towards each other
  • Adults behaving violently towards children
  • Macho role models
  • Preferences for violent images on TV Film
  • Racial Hatred
  • Violence in Sport
  • Poverty poor living conditions

Towards Making A Difference
  • Contributing Factors
  • Commitment of Government
  • Commitment of Stakeholders at all levels of
    decision making
  • Local
  • National
  • International

Upstream investment brings downstream results
W.H.O, 2002
  • Example
  • National Intervention campaign against school
    bullying in Norway
  • Olweus Roland, 1983
  • Inspired
  • Belgium Stevens Van Oost, 1995 1997
  • Canada Pepler Craig, 1991 -1993
  • England Smith, Sharp, Cowie, Boulton,
    Thompson, 1991 -1993.
  • Finland Salmivalli, 1999
  • Germany Hanewinkel, 1994 -1996
  • Ireland OMoore, 1999 Lawlor, 2003
  • Spain Ortega, Lera, Del Ray, Mora-Merchan,
    1995 2004
  • Switzerland Alasker Volkanover, 1998
  • Sweden Svenson, 2001
  • U.S.A Limber, 1994 -1995

Recommendation for Action
Steps towards a Guiding Framework
  1. Draw up, implement and monitor a National Plan of
    Action to prevent school bullying and violence.
  2. Enhance the capacity to collect data on school
    bullying and violence. To do this some
    discussion takes place in relation to
    definitional issues.
  3. Define priorities for and support research on the
    causes, consequences, costs and prevention of
    school bullying and violence.
  4. Develop a national strategy to assist schools to
    prevent bullying and violence.
  5. Create a media campaign to promote non-violent
    values, attitudes and behaviour.
  6. Integrate School Bullying and Violence Prevention
    into Teacher Education at both Pre-Service and
    In-Service Levels.
  7. Establish an Advisory Body (Centre of Excellence)
    for Partners in Education.
  8. Contribute to an International Research Network.
  9. Promote legislation to deal effectively with
    school bullying and violence.

1. Draw up, implement and monitor a National
action plan to prevent school bullying and
Key Elements of a National Plan to Prevent
Reduce School Bullying and Violence World Health
Organisation, 2002
  • Review and reform existing legislation and policy
  • Build data collection and capacity building
  • Strengthen services for victims
  • Develop and Evaluate prevention responses
  • Set a timetable
  • Develop a mechanism of evaluation
  • Establish an organisation to monitor and report
    on progress

Role of Monitoring Authority
  • To co-ordinate efforts at local, national and
    international levels
  • To collaborate with sectors that have potential
    to contribute to the prevention of School
    Bullying Violence e.g.
  • Education
  • Labour
  • Health
  • Social Welfare
  • Criminal Justice

2. Enhance the capacity to collect data on school
bullying and violence
  • Why?
  • To influence policy making
  • To set priorities
  • To guide programme design
  • To monitor progress

How can comprehensive and reliable data be
Develop a universal accepted definition of school
bullying and violence.
Faits de Violence
Il bullismo
Violenca na escola
Towards a New Definition
  • The Construct of Abuse would help
  • To overcome the theoretical and cultural
  • To target more effectively the problem behaviour
    i.e. the process as well as the product
  • To avoid unnecessary policies and programmes.
    e.g. racial, sexual

A Proposed Definition School Bullying and
Violence can be defined as Incidents where an
individual or a group are abused, threatened or
assaulted. The abusive behaviour involves an
explicit or implicit challenge to their safety,
well being and health.
3. Define priorities for, and support research
on, the causes, consequences, costs and
prevention of school bullying and violence.
  • Background
  • The Nature of School Bullying A Cross-National
  • Perspective. Eds. Smith, Morita, Junger-Tas,
  • Catalona Slee (1999)
  • Violence in Schools The response in Europe. Ed.
  • Smith, 2003.
  • Nordic Council Research Conference, Stockholm
  • Review of Good Practice in preventing and
  • Bullying At School In The E.U. Member States
    Report to
  • the European Commission (2003/S179-161416) -
    Eds. Minton OMoore,
  • 2004

Research Priorities
  • Needed is a greater understanding of
  • Contextual characteristics
  • The elements that are most desirable for
    inclusion in programmes of prevention and
  • The causes, consequences, costs and prevention of
    teacher-teacher, pupil-teacher, teacher-pupil,
    parent-teacher abuse.
  • Systematic and rigorous evaluations of
    initiatives to prevent and reduce school bullying
    and violence
  • Sports and violence.

Who Undertakes The Research?
  • Government Departments
  • Academic Institutions (inclusive of schools)
  • Individual researchers
  • Network of researchers local, national,

4. Develop a National Strategy to assist schools
to prevent and reduce school bullying and
  • Criteria for success
  • Statutory requirement
  • Commitment of School Personnel
  • Commitment of School Community inclusive of
  • Whole School Approach
  • Supplementary Therapeutic Services

Elements of a Whole School Approach
  • Evidence Based Policy Aims (Department of
    Education Science, Ireland, 1993)
  • To create a school ethos which encourages
    children to disclose and discuss incidents of
    bullying behaviour.
  • To raise awareness of bullying as a form
    unacceptable behaviour with school management,
    teachers, pupils, parents/guardians.
  • To ensure comprehensive supervision and
    monitoring measures through which all areas of
    school activity are kept under observation.
  • To develop procedures for noting and reporting
    incidents of bullying behaviour.
  • To develop a programme of support for those
    affected by bullying behaviour and for those
    involved in bullying behaviour.
  • To work with and through the various local
    agencies in countering all forms of bullying and
    anti-social behaviour.
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of school policy on
    anti-bullying behaviour.

Underpinning a School Policy to Prevent and
Reduce School Bullying and Violence 1
  • The Promotion of a co-operative school ethos
  • respect
  • trust
  • caring
  • consideration
  • support
  • The Promotion of high standards of Behaviour
  • pupil pupil
  • teacher pupil
  • teacher teacher
  • parent teacher

Underpinning a School Policy to Prevent and
Reduce School Bullying and Violence 2
  • Promoting Confidence Self Esteem
  • Pupils
  • School Personnel
  • Promoting Curricula to Foster
  • Respect for human dignity
  • Tolerance and respect for the values and beliefs
    of others
  • Celebration of diversity

School Based Interventions
Survey, prepare policies or code of discipline
reduce risk factors, establish student council,
peer support, mediation, counselling, school home
  • Primary reducing the risk of bullying and
  • Secondary responding to incidents of bullying
  • violence
  • Tertiary treatment and rehabilitation for those
  • involved in incidents.

Method of shared concern, No Blame approach,
Restorative Justice, Denial of Privileges,
Suspension, Expulsion
Child focused Teacher focused Family
focused Community - focused
Monitoring incidents, Counselling, referral to
Therapeutic Approaches require
Whole School Approach A Continuous Process
  • Self Audit. e.g. Varnava (2000)
  • Regular Audit
  • Monitoring Authority e.g school inspectorate
  • Regular Evaluation
  • Expert Advisory Organisation

The Design Team
Student Council
National Curriculum Development Unit
Teacher Unions
Parent Councils
The Design Team
Voluntary Sector Victim Support Groups Crime
Prevention Community Safety
Juvenile Justice
Social Welfare
Mass Media
School Psychological Service
Training Institutions Services for Children
5. Media campaign to change attitude, behaviour
and social norms
  • Challenges to be tackled Commission on Children
    Violence, Gulbenkian Foundation
  • Gender Issue
  • Macho Male Images
  • Those at risk of violence

Infants young people with a disability
minority ethnic groups
Design Team to Promote Media Campaign An
Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group
Besides a Media Campaign Build values that make
for a non-violent society into services that work
with and for children.
6. Integrate School Bullying Violence
Prevention into Teacher Education at Pre-Service
and In-Service Levels
  • Rationale
  • The commitment of teachers is critical to the
    effectiveness of intervention programmes Roland
  • Aim
  • To enhance competence
  • To detect
  • To intervene
  • To prevent
  • To understand the critical role of their own
    behaviour in shaping attitudes and behaviour of
    their students

Key Elements in a Teacher Training Module on
School Bullying Violence
  • Elements proposed by OMoore (2000) Nicolaides,
    Toda Smith, (2002)
  • What is bullying and violence?
  • The extent of bullying and violence
  • The signs of victimisation, bullying and
  • The ill-effects
  • The causes
  • Preventative strategies
  • Strategies to deal with incidents, inclusive of
    teachers and parents
  • Developing a school policy.

Use the curriculum to promote pro-social
attitudes Enhance self-esteem
In-Service Training
  • Rationale
  • To improve quality and efficiency by learning
    about the scientific
  • advances in the field of school bullying and
  • Successful Experience of In-Service (OMoore
    Minton, 2003)
  • ABC Model adapted from Roland, 1997
  • Develop a Network of Trainers
  • Provide Regional Training
  • Provide Local Support
  • Provide Professional Accreditation

Example Diploma in Aggression Studies, Trinity
College Dublin
7.To Establish a National Advisory Unit for
Partners in Education
  • Rationale
  • Need for evidence based advice and guidance to
    guide policies and intervention
  • strategies and research.
  • Example Anti-Bullying Centre
  • Research Resource Centre
  • Education Department
  • Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
  • ABC Provides
  • Advice and guidance website, helpline, drop in
  • Professional Counselling
  • Mediation
  • Resource Materials for parents, schools and
  • In-service and staff development for schools and
  • Day conferences and workshops for pupils,
    parents, teachers and adults in the workplace
  • Investigations
  • Expert Witness
  • Legal Advice
  • Reference library
  • Conducts research

If the Centre cannot provide the necessary
therapeutic help it refers on to experts in the
The Centre refers on to legal firms if the
clients are considering litigation
To Ensure Comprehensive Service Of National
Advisory Unit (Centre of Excellence)
  • Provide Government Funding
  • Give An Official Status
  • Establish International Links with Comparable
  • Establish an Alliance with Other Advocacy Groups

To share and exchange information To pool
experiences To increase collaboration
8. To Contribute to an International Research
  • Rationale
  • Identify and examine important issues on a global
  • Facilitate the development of global preventative
  • Potential Areas of Research Roland, personal
  • Conduct national baseline investigations using
    same definition and tools of measurement
  • Analyse results according to defined standards
  • Conduct indepth case studies of national policies
  • Monitor and evaluate prevention and intervention
  • Assist OECD and National Authorities in awareness
    raising and National Research

Leadership of International Research Centres
  • Criteria
  • That the Centre is located in a country that
    reflects the
  • highest political commitment to tackling school
    bullying and
  • violence. This will ensure the necessary funding
  • support.

9. Promote Legislation to Deal Effectively With
School Bullying Violence
  • Article 19 Convention On The Rights of Children
  • State Parties shall take all appropriate
  • administrative, social and educational measures
    to protect
  • the child from all forms of physical or mental
  • injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment,
  • maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual
    abuse, while
  • in the care of parent(s) legal guardian(s) or any
  • person who has the care of the child.

The Way Forward Legal Reforms
  • Examine with a view to adopt the recommendations
    of the Commission
  • on Children and Violence Gulbenkian Foundation,
  • Remove legal tolerance to any level of violence
    to children
  • Ensure that response to violent behaviour
    contribute to the solution rather than the
  • Prohibit physical punishment and humiliation of
  • Review criminal justice system for young
    offenders to ensure rehabilitation and protection
    of public from serious harm.
  • Provide consistent obligations to act against
    bullying in all institutions
  • Review and simplify the law on possession and use
    of firearms and other offensive weapons.

  • Advantages of Legal Reform
  • Create a climate of opinion that reinforces a
    zero tolerance to bullying and violence.
    Ananiadou Smith (2002)
  • Requires all schools to develop policies and to
    act on them.
  • Create a healthy and positive school climate.
  • Disadvantages
  • Compensation Culture (Binchy, 2004)
  • Preventative Action
  • Provide clear guidelines to schools to how
    litigation can be avoided.
  • Appoint an Ombudsman for Child Labour

Office of Ombudsman
  • To initiate investigations of Unresolved
  • To refer to appropriate agencies, organisations
    for follow up, support and rehabilitation.
  • To meet the requirements set out in the U.N
    Convention on the Rights of Children. e.g.

  • School Bullying and Violence is a worldwide
  • Imposes mental and physical ill health
  • Undermines and dilutes the quality of education
  • Action needed at local, national, international
  • Framework for National Approach to Include
  • Data Collection and Research
  • Training of Professionals
  • Whole School Approach
  • Media Campaign
  • International Research Network
  • Legal Reform
  • Success will depend on strength of political will

When planning for a year plant corn, when
planning for a decade plant trees, when planning
for life, train and educate people (Yves
Beernaert, Lisbon, 2001)
Thank You
  • Go Raibh Mile Maith Agat
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