Schools can significantly reduce the impact of bullying and improve pupils’ wellbeing by using a specialised system of conflict resolution and training, according to a ground-breaking study published in the Lancet.
The research, led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and University College London, was conducted over three years in state schools in the south of England, and is the first of its type to study the use of “restorative practice” within schools, bringing together victims and perpetrators of damaging behaviour.
The academics who wrote the Lancet study, including Professor Russell Viner, the president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, concluded that the £58 cost per pupil to run the programme was likely to achieve “significant impacts” in improving child health and mental wellbeing.
Professor Russell Viner said: “The message from this is that how we organise our schools to promote students’ welfare should be a key part of any response to concerns about children’s mental health.
“None of this was meant to be just about bullying – it was about informing and involving pupils in their school’s behaviour policies, and the use of restorative practices to resolve difficult behaviour.”
You can read more on this study in the Guardian.