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NEW REPORT SHOWS THAT YOUTH-LED ANTI-BULLYING AMBASSADOR PROGRAMME LEADS TO BEHAVIOURAL AND CULTURAL CHANGE IN SCHOOLS

Think tank concludes that The Diana Award’s Anti-Bullying Ambassador Programme helps to improve knowledge, skills, behaviour and culture around bullying behaviour.

As report launched, young people lead a virtual Roundtable with Facebook, policymakers, school leadership, researchers and charities to discuss best practice and future directions.

18 November 2020

As schools around the country celebrate Anti-Bullying Week 2020, a new report by independent think tank Demos, concludes The Diana Award’s Anti-Bullying Ambassador Programme improves young people’s knowledge and awareness of bullying behaviour and leads to real behavioural and cultural change in schools.

Even with schools closed for months due to COVID-19, almost half (46%) of young people have been bullied in the past year, with many experiencing a negative impact on their mental health as a result (The Diana Award, September 2020). As mental health remains a top priority for young people and educators through these difficult times (The Diana Award, April/June 2020), taking a stand against bullying behaviour and empowering young people to support one another is more important than ever.

Through The Diana Award, young people are trained to be Anti-Bullying Ambassadors to support students in the wider school to act as Upstanders rather than bystanders against bullying behaviour and create a culture of kindness and inclusivity for all.

Today’s report (18 November) was commissioned by The Diana Award to understand the changes seen in schools after Ambassadors have been trained on the Facebook-supported programme. Findings demonstrate The Diana Award’s unique peer-led and whole-school approach are effective in tackling bullying behaviour. The national network of Ambassadors develop awareness in their communities, share best practice and provide ongoing peer support. Thanks to these Ambassadors, other students now know how to report bullying behaviour, support others experiencing it, and are more careful with what they post online.

Positive changes were seen for both in person and online bullying behaviour but the researchers note the knowledge and culture around online safety is most significantly changed where a school’s campaign is targeted towards tackling cyberbullying. The researchers also argue that targeted approaches are needed to most effectively tackle other types of bullying behaviour, such as homophobic, biphobic and transphobic and racist bullying behaviour.

“We know our peer-led approach to tackling bullying works and it is heartening to see this demonstrated through this new independent report. Mental health remains a top priority for young people and educators through these difficult times. Taking a stand against bullying behaviour and empowering young people to support one another has never felt more important.”

Alex Holmes, Deputy CEO of The Diana Award

“The Diana Award does exceptional work supporting young people and teachers to have the skills they need to tackle bullying wherever it happens, and we’re proud to continue our partnership with them through the funding of this report. Facebook does not tolerate bullying on our platforms, we have strict policies in place and have invested in advanced technology which sees us remove millions of pieces of content related to bullying. We work closely with organisations such as The Diana Award to help inform our policies and tools so we can make decisions which help keep the people on our platform safe.”

Rebecca Stimson, Facebook Head of UK Public Policy

To celebrate the launch of this new report, The Diana Award are bringing together young people, school leadership, policymakers and partner organisations for an Anti-Bullying Week Roundtable. Panellists and guests will discuss how to work together to implement Demos’ recommendations, both in the school community and at the policy decision-making level.

The event will be hosted by members of The Diana Award’s National Anti-Bullying Youth Board who are aged 11-18 and are active Anti-Bullying Ambassadors in their schools. Vicky Ford, Minister for Children and Families and Rebecca Stimson, Head of UK Public Policy from Facebook will join the panel, and guests include Members of Parliament, the National Crime Agency, Ofcom, the NCS Trust, South West Grid for Learning and Stonewall.

To read the full report, click here.

About Demos report

From March-July 2020, researchers at Demos analysed survey data as well as interviews and focus group conversations with young people and staff at case study schools to assess the impact of the Anti-Bullying Ambassador Programme.

About Facebook and the Anti-Bullying Ambassador Programme

Since March 2018, Facebook has supported the programme to reach more than 13,500 young people and 2,200 staff across nearly 1,200 schools. The programme also has backing from England’s Department for Education, as well as Nationwide Building Society and Zurich Community Trust.

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