This bullying prevention programme in New Zealand is yielding great results

The KiVa teams responsible for dealing with bullying incidents have shown stunning results with cases dropping from a baseline of 20 to nine

A bullying prevention programme, introduced in New Zealand by Victoria University of Wellington’s Accent Learning, is generating strong results from primary schools, which have reported a drop in the number of bullying incidents.

The programme, called KiVa, originated in Finland is a strategy focused on three distinct groups: the bully, the victim and bystanders. Substantiated on research and practice, the programme has shown a significant reduction in bullying in overseas countries.

A recent survey sent to principals and teachers of the 18 New Zealand schools currently using KiVa demonstrates those strong results are starting to replicate in New Zealand, says Accent Learning senior project manager Deidre Vercauteren.

Most principals said they were ‘on their way’ to realising their hopes of reducing or preventing bullying incidents in their schools. All but one principal reported they were spending less time dealing with bullying incidents than before KiVa.

The most recent Trends in International Maths and Science (TIMSS) study found that five students in New Zealand experienced bullying behaviours more frequently than students in almost all of the other 57 participating countries—only Bahrain and South Africa reported higher rates. There has been no improvement since the last TIMSS report in 2011.

The 18 New Zealand schools involved in KiVa have been using the programme for between six to 22 months.

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