Evaluation of methods that prevent bullying and improve wellbeing and the working atmosphere

Pre-primary, primary and lower secondary education

The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre FINEEC implements an evaluation of anti-bullying methods.  The evaluation is part of the Ministry of Education and Culture’s action plan for the prevention of bullying, violence and harassment (link in Finnish). In this evaluation, anti-bullying methods refer to methods directed at basic education with the aim of preventing bullying, intervening in bullying and providing after-care, which means organising the necessary support after a situation in which bullying has occurred.

The purpose of the evaluation is to produce information on different anti-bullying methods and their functionality and outcomes. The evaluation will help disseminate information on the usability of different methods so that education providers and schools can choose the methods that are the most suitable for them. The purpose of the evaluation is not to set the different anti-bullying methods against each other or compare their superiority, but to disseminate information on the good practices of different methods and highlight the needs to develop them.

The current evaluation focuses on the anti-bullying methods used in basic education. The anti-bullying methods used in early childhood education and care and pre-primary education will be evaluated later.

The results of the evaluation were published in August 2022. The deadline for applications to the evaluation was in December 2021. Twenty-seven actors coordinating an anti-bullying method applied to the evaluation.

The selection was carried out on the basis of the applications. The following areas of the applications were assessed:

  • Objective and target group of the method
  • Framework and desired impacts of the method
  • Practices used in the method
  • Links of the method with the National core curriculum
  • Accessibility of the method (materials and training)
  • Monitoring mechanism for the method
  • Assessment and development of the method
  • Evidence of the impacts of the method

In addition to the different areas, the individual methods as a whole were also evaluated. Because the aim of the evaluation was to produce information on different methods and their suitability to different situations, methods focusing on different anti-bullying measures and different needs were selected to the evaluation.

The following anti-bullying methods were selected to the next stage of the evaluation:

  • Gutsy Go, Gutsy Go ry
  • B-Stop, Children of the Station
  • KiVa-Koulu, University of Turku / INVEST Psychology
  • Safety Skills Education model of Oulu, Safe Oulu project
  • Mediation at school (Verso and Resto), Finnish Forum for Mediation (FFM), VERSO programme
  • Peer Support programme, Mannerheim League for Child Welfare
  • Peer support activities, Folkhälsan

Implementation of the evaluation

The actors coordinating the methods that were selected to the actual evaluation filled in a more comprehensive self-evaluation. In addition, information was collected with the help of surveys and interviews with the staff, pupils and guardians of the schools that were using the methods evaluated. An evaluation team consisting of experts carried out the evaluation together with FINEEC’s specialists.

The anti-bullying methods selected to the evaluation differed from each other in terms of their objectives, influencing mechanisms and operating methods. In the evaluation, efforts have been made to take into account the starting points and framework of each method and how bullying is defined in the method.  To implement the evaluation, three cross-cutting themes were formulated, through which the methods were evaluated: the usability of the method, sustainability and the outcome. Recent research data, according to which effective anti-bullying methods have certain factors in common, has been used in defining the themes.

In this evaluation, usability refers to how clear and focused the objective of the method is and how suitable it is to the target group it has been planned for. Usability is also evaluated on the basis of how clear the activities, material and instructions used in the method are, how the method is implemented in schools and how different actors are taken into account in the use of the method.

The sustainability of the method is used to refer to how well the activities and instructionsbe adopted to everyday schoolwork and how well the method can be adapted to the school’s work on wellbeing. It will also be evaluated from the point of view of how the division of responsibility is carried out in the method and how its use is monitored, evaluated, developed and supported in schools.

The outcome is evaluated through the results received from using the method. The evaluation focuses on what kind of results have been obtained, how the information obtained has been used and how the results support the objectives of the method. The outcome is also examined on the basis of the investments required by schools, the feedback collected on the functioning of the method and how the feedback is used in the development of the activities.

More information:

Niina Rumpu

Niina Rumpu

Senior Evaluation Advisor
General education
+358 29 533 5525 Jyväskylä