Education

Anti-bullying programme successful in schools

education

Published May 16, 2017

The anti-bullying programme KiVa has successfully reduced bullying in New Zealand schools and online, a preliminary evaluation from Victoria University of Wellington shows.

The report, led by Professor Vanessa Green from Victoria’s School of Education, evaluated 14 primary and secondary schools in New Zealand that had been using KiVa over a period of 12 months. 

“These changes are a good indication that KiVa could be an effective anti-bullying programme in all New Zealand schools, particularly as these results are after only 12 months of implementation,” says Professor Green. 

“The findings suggest there was a significant decrease in the frequency of bullying, the frequency of victimisation at school and on the internet and an increase in students’ feelings of safety within their school environment.” 

The children were asked how often they had been bullied at school and via the internet, and whether they had bullied others at school. They were also asked about their feelings of safety when at school and their perception of teachers’ involvement in decreasing bullying over the previous year. 

The results showed a 10.5 percent increase in the number of children who were not bullied in the previous year, and a 5.4 percent increase in those not bullied over the internet. There were significantly fewer students engaging in bullying behaviour over the year. 

Professor Green says the role of teachers and peers is also essential in addressing bullying, and results from the report show that KiVa has had successful teacher engagement. 

“The results show a significant change with students indicating that teachers were doing more to decrease bullying, which suggests a good level of buy-in by the teachers and participating schools.

“This initial evaluation shows a positive result and that participating schools are going in the right direction to combat bullying. What we are now doing is seeking funding to be able to continue implementing KiVa into all schools interested in the programme.” 

The 2017 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report on students’ wellbeing, which surveys 51 countries, shows an average of 8.9 percent of 15 year olds are bullied. In New Zealand, this increases to 25 percent.

“The PISA report further shows how essential it is for New Zealand schools to be using effective antibullying programmes. My research now shows that KiVa is a successful antibullying programme to implement in New Zealand schools. I hope this will prompt more schools to get onboard with KiVa.”

 

Accent Learning, a division of Victoria University’s commercialisation office Viclink, is the Official License Partner for KiVa in New Zealand.

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For more information, contact Professor Vanessa Green on 04-463 9574 or vanessa.green@vuw.ac.nz