We use a system of peer support
The peer support system encourages young people to communicate with one another in the ‘vernacular’, absent from the authoritarian tone that adults may exude, to help resolve their problems together (Topping, 1996).
Peer support systems provide young people with a voice and initiatives to take action, enabling them to create emotionally healthy relationships founded on concern for others and empathy for others people’s feelings.
Perpetrators of bullying are often supported by their immediate peer groups known as ‘assistants’ and ‘reinforcers’. Peer support systems aim to counteract this by turning bystanders into ‘defenders’. (Salmivalli et al, 1996).
The Benefits of Peer Support
Young people are more likely to confide in their friends rather than adults with 74% of young people stating they would tell a friend, 57% would tell their parents and only 47% would tell a school official. (Cassidy et al, 2009).
Peer support systems can help encourage students in considering other people’s perspectives and tolerate stigmatised groups (Batson et al, 2002).
The communication and conflict resolution skills that students learn help reinforce empathy and ‘being there for others’ in order to become better contributors to their society. (Naylor and Cowie, 1999).
Encourages the creation of better quality friendships, increased awareness amongst students and a reduction in indirect bullying (James, 2011).
The Anti-Bullying Ambassador programme utilise a comprehensive, accessible and engaging strategy to work alongside young students to realise their potential and to raise awareness of anti-bullying – we call this the Impact Toolkit.
Before implementing the programme, our Research and Policy Analyst will conduct an extensive pre-evaluation to understand the current awareness of bullying in your school.
After pre-evaluations, students are trained by an experienced Anti-Bullying Training Coordinator. Here, they learn the necessary skills they will need to become Anti-Bullying Ambassadors.
Using both the pre-evaluations and the training students have received, the team reviews its pre-test findings to determine the best strategy to support your school.
The Anti-Bullying Campaign is now implemented into your school. We encourage Ambassadors to keep a carefully designed Research Diary to help them reflect on their progress.
After a few months, our Research and Policy Analyst conducts a pre-evaluation of the school to see the effectiveness of the programme in raising awareness of bullying in your school.
Post-implementation reviews are conducted to see how we can continue to support your school. We encourage conducting focus groups and evaluations on a frequent basis.
Outcomes of the Impact Toolkit
97.94% of young people feel confident in their understanding of the three forms of bullying.
96.71% feel confident in their understanding of how to stop bullying in their school.
93.22% feel confident in their ability to help others who are being bullied.
Batson, C. Daniel, Nadia Ahmad, and David A. Lishner. “Empathy and Altruism." The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology (2009): 417.
Cassidy, W.C., Jackson, M., and Brown, K.N. "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but how can pixels hurt me? Students’ experiences with cyber-bullying." School Psychology International 30, no. 4 (2009): 383-402.
Cowie, H., and Smith, P.K. "Peer support as a means of improving school safety and reducing bullying and violence." In Handbook of prevention science, pp. 177-193. Routledge, 2009.
Cowie, H., and Naylor, P. "The effectiveness of peer support systems in challenging school bullying: the perspectives and experiences of teachers and pupils." Journal of adolescence 22, no. 4 (1999): 467-479.
James, A. "The use and impact of peer support schemes in schools in the UK, and a comparison with use in Japan and South Korea." PhD diss., Goldsmiths, University of London, 2011.
Salmivalli, C., Lagerspetz, K., Björkqvist, K., Österman, K. & Kaukiainen, A. "Bullying as a group process: Participant roles and their relations to social status within the group." Aggressive behaviour 22, no. 1 (1996): 1-15.
Topping, K. J. "Reaching where adults cannot: Peer education and peer counselling." Educational Psychology in Practice 11, no. 4 (1996): 23-29.