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Report highlights common approach to prevent bullying


A report for the European Commission led by Dr Paul Downes, School of Human Development at Dublin City University’s Institute of Education, has outlined the need for a common system response for the prevention of early school leaving and bullying.

The report also highlighted the importance of community outreach, multidisciplinary teams and family support approaches, and seeks to address discriminatory bullying.

By examining evidence from European and international research, the report reviewed national practices and aimed to inform policy makers and practitioners at EU, national, regional and local level on the most effective strategies and practices for preventing bullying and violence in schools.

The report noted major gaps in national approaches towards school bullying and violence prevention, some of these included a large number of EU member states not having national school bullying and violence prevention strategies; having existing strategies confined to universal prevention approaches; inadequate focuses on student participation in the design of anti-bullying approaches; and a number of EU member states had no strategy for the prevention of homophobic bullying

The report stressed the need for a more comprehensive strategic approach at national level to prevent school bullying and violence.

A number of recommendations included the need for establishing supports such as school-based emotional counselling services, the establishment of an individual family outreach strategy at school level to foster engagement with families, and developing specific community outreach strategies relying on structured co-operation and communal spaces to allow different groups to overcome prejudices.

Commenting on the findings, Downes, said: “Bullying is a serious concern for all EU member states due to its sizeable prevalence in many countries and its negative long-term impact on physical and mental health, as well as educational outcomes such as early school leaving. There is not simply one bullying problem. It is a multifaceted problem requiring multifaceted solutions.”

Pan European Networks Ltd