The second Learning Group will draw on reliable epidemiological data available across both high income and low and middle income countries, to unpack the prevalence of and risk factors associated with violence against children in schools. The work of the Learning Group will be informed by a number of observations and research findings highlighted in recent international research, as well as recent reports produced by the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence Against Children (Tackling Violence in Schools: A Global Problem - Bridging the gap between standards and practice); and organisations like UNICEF (Hidden in Plain Sight: A Statistical Analysis of Violence Against Children). Read More...
What do we know about violence in schools?
- School violence refers not only to violence that may happen within the physical boundaries of the school, but also to the processes and to lived experiences that are attached to schooling. Children, and in particular girls, often experience violence travelling to and from school. This impacts directly on key education-related outcomes – school attachment, concentration, the development of healthy relationships with both peers and adults within school, and ultimately, school performance.
- The school is just one – to varying degrees, contained – environment or domain in which children experience violence. But school experiences should be also seen within a more systemic construct that acknowledges the underlying drivers of violence that exist in all domains, from an individual to a systemic level. Conversely, while addressing some of these drivers will require policy and legislative changes, these will also need to be translated into practical interventions and shifts within schools, families and communities. So, the impact of policy and legislative shifts will need to be considered alongside measurable, school-based prevention and evidence.
- High-profile cases of extreme physical and sexual violence often propel the perennial issue of school violence into public discourse. But just as concerning, if not more so, are the subtler, often less physically severe, repeated acts of violence – physical, emotional, sexual – that occur within the school environment. These often go unreported, but together with various other risk factors, including behavioural patterns, can predate and lead to escalated forms of violence – including bullying and cyberbullying.
- Finally, boys and girls experience violence in different ways. Physical and social surroundings also impact the safety of boys and girls differently. Thus, while looking at school violence, gender should be a key consideration.
Nine papers will be produced under this Learning Group. Each paper will include case studies, and drawing on evidence, will provide examples of both good and promising practice for preventing violence in schools. Recognising that different countries possess extremely variable capacity constraints (financial, institutional, and human), each paper will draw out what the core elements and pillars of successful evidence-based interventions should be that could potentially be implemented across different environments. All the papers will be synthesised into a single comprehensive thematic piece.
- A systematic review on the state of knowledge on violence within schools (Lead author: Catherine L. Ward, University of Cape Town);
- Polyvictimisation and shared risks for violence in schools and across other domains (Lead author: Lezanne Leoschut, Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention);
- The impact of, and effective interventions to prevent, corporal punishment in schools (Lead author:Elizabeth Gershoff, University of Texas at Austin);
- Bullying in Schools: the state of knowledge and effective interventions (Lead authors: Ersilia Menesini, University of Florence; and Christina Salmivalli, University of Turku);
- Online Risks and Harms relating to the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) (Lead author: Monica Bulger, University of Oxford);
- The role of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and social media in preventing violence in schools and institutions (Lead author: Patrick Burton,Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention);
- Role of data in preventing school violence;
- School organisational culture and school climate (Lead author: Dipak Naker, Raising Voices); and
- Determinants of bullying experience (Lead author: Michael Dunne, Queensland University of Technology).