8 Success Factors for Bullying Prevention in Schools

A successful bullying prevention work in a school needs to be systematic, continuous and with a long-term approach. Below we are sharing 8 success factors. The efforts also needs to be based on:

Mapping & Analysis
– Identify underlaying causes and areas/goals to focus on

– Implement short- and long-term measures
– Specify what to do – when, by whom, and how to involve the students

Follow up
– Evaluate: Did the efforts have the desired effect or do we need to make adjustments to them, or develop new measures?


8 success factors

1. Create trusting relationships

This is what research finds being the most important factor. Safe, warm and trusting relationships between teachers and students lays the foundation for success of both acute and preventive efforts. Each student should have at least one adult at school that they trust. Examples of how to promote it could be that all staff members have lunch together with the students every day, and/or rolling schedule during breaks/recess so that there are always adults present among the students.

2. Start with your own organization

What does it look like at your school? Conduct surveys of various kinds with students and guardians:

  • Questionnaires
  • Observations
  • Dialogues
  • Workshops

3.  Focus on the school culture and the school climate

The school climate is about the school’s effects on students through teaching practices, diversity and relationships among administrators, teachers, parents, and students. The culture is about how teachers and other school staff members are working together, and the values, beliefs, and assumptions they share.

A positive school climate and school culture promote the students’ learning abilities.

4.  Skill development 

Knowledge and a joint approach/consensus among all (staff and students) about the nature, causes and prevalence of bullying leads to improved skills in intervening and preventing it from happening.

5.  A whole school approach

Fundamental for an effective bullying prevention work is that everyone is involved; Management and staff, students, and parents/guardians.

6.  Practice what you preach

Students need to have confidence in the bullying prevention efforts. All adults need to be role models. (Not only in the classroom.)

7.  Create clarity

This inolves having a long term plan, clear and committed leadership, and clearroles/responsibilities and procedures.

8.  Involve the students

It is Important the students are actively involved in drafting the code of conduct and discussing measures, both concerning the school and their class. In schools where students have a large degree of influence and a high participation rate students obtain higher grades and the prevalence of bullying is lower.

It’s also important that students learn strategies and receive help to develop different alternative actions when they are negatively treated or see someone else being bullied. Research shows that students who have knowledge of how to act when they see degrading treatment tend to act accordingly as well when it is happening, or by telling an adult about it.