Beatbullying, an international bullying prevention charity, has developed a range of programmes designed to empower children and young people, and to provide opportunities for them to take action themselves to bring about positive change in their schools and in the wider community. At its heart is a peer-mentoring programme that involves intense training in listening, mentoring and cyber mentoring.
The evaluation included surveys of pupils, peer mentors, and staff leads in middle and secondary schools in the UK, as well as in-depth case studies at eight secondary schools that had been involved with Beatbullying for differing lengths of time.
This research project commenced in June 2009 and ended in May 2010.
This research was conducted in order to provide a rich, detailed understanding of the different ways in which Beatbullying programmes had been introduced and implemented in schools, and to shed light on the key facilitating factors that make this work successful.
The evaluation included a comprehensive survey of over 1000 pupils from 11 middle/secondary schools. Findings from the survey showed that a significant proportion of pupils experienced bullying and cyberbullying. There was clear evidence that these experiences were connected with lower wellbeing and poorer perceptions of school climate.
Detailed analysis of the bullying experiences provided a clear rationale for the introduction of effective anti-bullying strategies in schools. Across five schools recruited for follow-up assessments of the strategies, there was an overall significant drop in the proportion of pupils who experienced intentional and persistent bullying, from 28 per cent to 20.8 per cent overall (equating to a reduction of approximately a quarter in the numbers being bullied, from 1 in every 3.6 pupils to 1 in every 4.8 pupils).
We found that the peer mentors significantly raised awareness, understanding, and reporting of bullying and cyberbullying within the schools. Key factors that supported the success of Beatbullying programmes included:
Beatbullying put in place strategies to engage with school staff in response to our recommendations regarding implementation.
Dr Carol RobinsonProfessor Robin BanerjeeDr Dave Smalley, Associate Tutor, University of Sussex
Evaluation report to Beatbullying (November 2010)