Children's Early Intervention Trust
Spring Conference

Spring Conference

Why bullying prevention in school matters.

Wednesday 20th March 2024 – 9.00am to 3.00pm.

Keynote speakers include:

Professor Christina Salmivalli (KiVa – University of Turku)

Christina Salmivalli is a professor of psychology at the University of Turku, Finland. She has done research on school bullying and its evidence-based prevention for three decades. Her team developed the KiVa® antibullying program, which is implemented in large scale in Finland and in 20 other countries. Salmivalli has published widely on children’s peer relations and bullying in top-tier scientific journals.

Abstract: Sustainable bullying prevention with KiVa program – experiences from Finland and other countries

In its home country, Finland, Kiva was first evaluated in 2007-2009 and has since then been widely implemented in basic education schools. No other bullying prevention program has been studied as much as KiVa. In this talk, the findings from early studies as well as more recent research done in Finland and elsewhere will be presented, including two ongoing projects, CHALLENGE (focusing on indicated actions of KiVa) and IMPRES (focusing on implementation quality)

Learn more about the KiVa antibullying programme for schools here.

Professor Lucy Bowes (University of Oxford)

Lucy Bowes is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Oxford, and Principal Investigator of the oRANGE lab (Oxford risk and resilience, genes and environment). Lucy’s research focuses on the impact of early life stress and adverse experiences on psychological and behavioural development. Her research integrates methods from social epidemiology, behavioural genetics and developmental psychology in order to understand the processes that influence children’s responses to adversity.

Abstract: Is it time to extend anti-bullying interventions beyond schools? Understanding the role of the family in childhood bullying involvement.

Childhood bullying is typically framed as an issue for schools to tackle, however research has long indicated that families may play an important role. From understanding how sibling relationships may impact children’s mental health and peer relationships to examining the influence of different parenting behaviours, this talk aims to highlight how families influence childhood bullying. I will draw on findings from a range of different research methods, including genetically sensitive research designs in order to disentangle nature from nurture when considering how families shape children’s peer relationships.

I like doing KiVa because it bonds us as a class

School pupil, North Wales.

Conference speakers include:

Huw Eifion Evans – Health and Wellbeing Development Officer, Conwy Education Services 

Huw’s background is in physical health and wellbeing, having worked extensively to assist schools in enhancing their provision of physical activity and sports for a number of years. In recent years, he has broadened his expertise in health and wellbeing, presently pursuing a master’s program at Bangor University’s Academy for Health Equity, Prevention, and Wellbeing.

Abstract: Conwy and KiVa – Our Journey So Far 

The aim of my talk is to outline how the Education Department in Conwy, through the Healthy Schools Programme, has been able to implement the KiVa programme in the county, becoming the first county in Wales to implement the programme across all secondary schools within the county.

Dr Margiad Williams is Co-Director of the Centre for Evidence Based Early Intervention (CEBEI) at Bangor University.

She is an experienced triallist having worked on, and managed, a number of pragmatic randomised controlled trials of parent and school-based interventions. Many of these trials are on the coalface working directly with services and service users (parents, teachers).

Abstract: Margiad will talk about the Stand Together trial, NIHR funded research led from Bangor, in partnership with the Universities of Bangor (CEBEI), Exeter, Oxford, Warwick and Cardiff.

The aim of this presentation will be to tell the story of KiVa in the UK including how it first came to Wales in 2012, developments in the dissemination of training for schools over the last 12 years through the Children’s Early Intervention Trust, and the key research findings from earlier work led from the Centre for Evidence Based Early Intervention. This work has culminated in the Stand Together trial, the largest randomised controlled trial of KiVa to date.

The Stand Together Trial recruited 116 Primary Schools from North Wales, West Midlands, South East and the South West of England, with approx. 13,000 students. The trial is evaluating whether teaching staff delivering the KiVa programme (a whole school approach, that targets the bystanders of pupil bullying and aims to change their behaviour), is more effective than usual practice at reducing bullying over one year.

The Stand Together Trial protocol paper is published and available online.

Clarkson S., Bowes, L., Coulman E., Broome R.M., Canning Johns, R., …. Hutchings, J. and the Stand Together Team (2022) The UK stand together trial: protocol for a multicentre cluster randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of KiVa to reduce bullying in primary schools. BMC Public Health 22:608

Dr Holly Whiteley is a Health Economics Research Officer within the Public Health and Prevention Economics Research Group (PHERG) at the Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation (CHEME), Bangor University.

Holly has a keen interest and experience in evaluating school-based early year interventions that promote health and well-being throughout the life course.

Abstract: The role of health economics in the Stand Together randomised controlled trial (RCT): our approach to evaluating the cost-effectiveness of the KiVa anti-bullying programme in UK primary schools.

We conducted a health economic evaluation of the KiVa anti-bullying programme, alongside the Stand Together trial, to explore its cost-effectiveness for reducing bullying amongst 7-to-11-year-olds in UK primary schools.

Our presentation will outline the importance of health economics in contributing to the evidence-base for the KiVa programme and will introduce our approach and methods for costing and evaluating KiVa compared to usual practice.

Cost calculations were conducted from an education-sector perspective and included KiVa training and resources plus staff-time preparing and delivering lessons. The estimated costs of KiVa and usual practice will be used in three separate health economic analyses to explore cost-effectiveness;

  1. a cost-utility analysis exploring the incremental cost of KiVa per incremental pupil-reported quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained,
  2. a cost-effectiveness analysis exploring the incremental cost per incremental bullying incident avoided (BIA),
  3. a cost-consequence analysis comparing costs with a wide range of pupil- and teacher outcomes.

Ysgol Glancegin is a primary school in Bangor and a caring community that incorporates the principles of its motto ‘Nurture, inspire, thrive’. The school has been delivering the KiVa programme for twelve years, and we are delighted to welcome staff and some of the pupils to talk about long-term implementation, and how the programme has been embedded within the school’s curriculum and ethos.

Ysgol gynradd ym Mangor yw Ysgol Glancegin, a chymuned ofalgar sy’n ymgorffori egwyddorion ei harwyddair ‘Meithrin, ysbrydoli, ffynnu’. Mae’r ysgol wedi bod yn danfon rhaglen KiVa ers deuddeg mlynedd, ac rydym yn falch iawn o groesawu staff a rhai o’r disgyblion i siarad am weithrediad hirdymor, a sut mae’r rhaglen wedi’i gwreiddio o fewn cwricwlwm ac ethos yr ysgol.

Jess Lothian is a Master’s by Research student at Bangor University.  Her interests lie in developmental psychology with a specific interest in child and adolescent educational and mental health outcomes. Currently, she is in the process of writing up her thesis.

Abstract: A Pilot Study Exploring the Feasibility and Transportability of the KiVa Anti-bullying Programme in Welsh Secondary Schools.

Bullying is a global issue among children and adolescents, which is pervasive within school environments. KiVa is an evidence-based, whole-school anti-bullying programme, which was first developed and evaluated in Turku University, Finland, before being rolled out across all Finnish comprehensive schools. In more recent years, positive trial results were found when the programme was adapted and evaluated for use in UK primary schools (in populations aged 7- to 10-years-old). However, to date, KiVa has not been researched in UK secondary schools (in populations aged 11- to 16-years olds). Due to differences between Finnish and UK education systems, the current pilot study aimed to establish feasibility and transportability of the KiVa programme to the UK secondary school setting.

This study presents perceptions of KiVa from the perspective of a local KiVa coordinator and teachers (n= 15), who were directly involved in the delivery and/or maintenance of the KiVa programme, in six secondary schools across North Wales. Interviews explored how schools had implemented KiVa and its different components, adaptations, and challenges. Thematic analysis of interview transcripts revealed 10 main themes: Introduction of KiVa to Conwy; rationale for implementing KiVa; reflections on training; launching KiVa; delivering lessons; universal actions; indicated actions; positive outcomes of KiVa Implementation; barriers and facilitators; gaps and improvements.

These findings could be used to inform decisions regarding whether it is appropriate to implement KiVa across UK secondary schools, before investing valuable resources into large scale implementation within this population.

You can attend in person at Bangor University, or online and there is a limited number of FREE tickets. Lunch will be provided for delegates attending in person. 

Attend the conference in person (lunch is included)

Attend the conference online

Let’s stop bullying, Together!