Study reveals cost benefits of Finnish anti-bullying programme

Children and Young People Now reports that a study by Public Health England has found that an initiative, which originated in Finland to support young people and counter the impacts of bullying, delivers a return of £1.58 for every pound invested.

The KiVa programme is used in more than 90 per cent of schools among pupils aged between seven and 16 in Finland and has also been tested by three schools in England and 14 in Wales as part of personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) lessons.

It focuses on reducing the incentives for bullying, through group work with children around promoting empathy and the positive changes in their lives by not bullying their peers. KiVA also contains support for bullied pupils from teachers and their peers. 

Analysis in a Public Health England report on the commissioning of services to promote mental health and wellbeing found that it has been particularly effective in reducing cyber bullying.

Savings are achieved through reducing the need for specialist support for victims, such as those provided by child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), and lessening the risk of pupil absenteeism and self-harm. 

“There are additional benefits of great importance to the education sector including educational achievements, school atmosphere and reputation that we have not been able to place a monetary value on these impacts,” the report states.

The Public Health England report also looks at the benefits of school-based social and emotional learning initiatives, with a close look at the Penn Resilience Programme, which aims to increase resilience and prevent depression through improving cognitive behavioural and problem-solving skills.

Read more Study reveals cost benefits of Finnish anti-bullying programme

Is this anti-bullying programme of interest to you? Has your school trialled the programme? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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