United Against Bullying Plus (UAB+) schools anti-bullying programme

The Evidence Based Practice Unit, a child and youth mental health research and innovation unit based at UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences and Anna Freud is excited to be partnering with Anti-Bullying Alliance in a project to deliver and evaluate the United Against Bullying Plus (UAB+) schools anti-bullying programme.

Why is this important?

Research has shown that 30% of children have been bullied in the last year alone. This means that approximately one child in every classroom is being bullied each day. Involvement in peer bullying has been found to be associated with a range of adverse outcomes in childhood including academic problems, physical and mental health problems, and suicidal ideations and attempts. It is also associated with adverse outcomes in adulthood such as mental health difficulties and poor health.

What is United Against Bullying Plus (UAB+)?

The UAB+ programme is a whole-school anti-bullying programme for secondary schools in England. Delivered by the Anti-Bullying Alliance in partnership with Kidscape, UAB+ has both universal and targeted elements:

  • Audits of school anti-bullying policy and practice

  • Development of a tailored action plan for each school

  • Workshops for all pupils (universal)

  • Targeted workshops for pupils who are victims or perpetrators of bullying

  • Targeted workshops for parents/carers of pupils who are victims of bullying

  • School staff training on supporting at-risk pupils

How will we evaluate UAB+?

Information will be gathered about different aspects of the interventions by conducting surveys and interviews with Year 8 pupils, their parents/carers and school staff.  This will allow us to understand factors that can help or hinder the implementation of UAB+, strengths and weaknesses of the programme, as well as details about the way it was implemented in each school.

Benefits of the programme will also be investigated, such as change in knowledge of bullying, confidence to address bullying, rates of bullying, school attendance rates, and pupil wellbeing. This initial evidence will be used to inform future research that would investigate these potential benefits in a full research trial.

What’s happening next?

The UAB+ programme started in Autumn 2023, in multiple schools across England, and the evaluation will run until September 2025. Keep an eye out on Evidence Based Practice Unit, Anna Freud and CORC’s Twitter/X pages for updates on this evaluation.

And do follow the Anti-Bullying Week campaign taking place 13-17 November 2023 to learn more #AntiBullyingWeek #MakeANoise

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