Monday 16 December 2019

KiVa programme shows anti-bullying success

The findings of an online survey of almost 3,000 primary school students, after their schools had been implementing the KiVa Anti-Bullying Programme for a year, shows that it has had a major impact on their behaviour.

69% of students who had been bullied said it had completely stopped or lessened

72% of students who had bullied others said they had completely stopped or were bullying less

At a special event to mark Universal Children's Day in the Monasterboice Inn, those attending heard that the incidences of bullying in the participating schools had decreased overall.

They also heard that students felt their teachers' attitudes towards bullying had improved and that they were doing more to decrease bullying in their school.

The results are from online surveys completed in May/June 2019 by 1st to 6th Class students in eight participating primary schools in Monaghan and Louth and analysed by the University of Turku in Finland. Baseline results for comparison are from online surveys carried out in May/June 2018.

Dr. Martin Stynes, from the Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection (EQI) at Dublin City University, presented the findings and recommendations arising from a process evaluation conducted on the schools on the first year of the programme's implementation in Ireland.

Hugh Doogan, Programme Manager with The Genesis Programme said:

'We introduced the programme to schools just over a year ago in response to what parents were telling us was the biggest concern they have for their children - the fear of them being bullied. Whilst we are pleased with the first year outcomes it is not the time to be complacent.

'In 2018 when we published our first set of results, we found that 6% of students in 4th to 6th Class had reported they were bullied through the internet (cyberbullying) 2 or 3 times a month or more often. That figure has risen in 2019 to 8%.'

'That shows there is more work still to do. The schools have been very positive about the programme and the impact it is having on their community. I welcome the recommendations contained within the EQI report and we will work with the schools to implement these.

'The schools, teachers and principals, parents and children all have been very positive about the programme. We are asking the Department of Education & Skills and other relevant government departments to consider how this programme could be available to more schools'

2,869 students completed the KiVa online surveys in May and June 2019

The Genesis Programme is a consortium of early learning and care centres, schools, community and statutory groups working together to deliver evidence-based programmes and approaches and supports the implementation of these through its consortium members. The lead agency is Louth Leader Partnership.

Drogheda Independent