The Support Group Method


The Support Group Method is an effective strategy for responding to bullying. The method was originally developed by the Educational Psychologists Barbara Maines and George Robinson in the early1990s and is now a well-recognised anti-bullying approach used in many schools and local authorities across the country. The approach is included as an example of good practice in the Cambridgeshire PSHE Service Anti-bullying Policy.

The Support Group Method addresses bullying by forming a support group of children and young people who have perpetrated or witnessed bullying. The group also includes friends of the bullied child/young person. The method involves them in a problem-solving approach, and without apportioning blame, gives the group the responsibility of solving the problem.

The Support Group Method offers a simple seven-step procedure, which can be facilitated by a teacher or other member of staff whose role includes a focus on the wellbeing of children.

The process works particularly well in schools where the school ethos supports pupil participation and peer support is seen an integral part of the school pastoral system. It is also consistent with and complements the philosophy of Restorative Approaches.

Contact the service for Staff Training

The Cambridgeshire PSHE Service provides staff training on The Support Group Method. If you are interested in introducing this anti-bullying strategy in your school and would like staff training, please contact

We used The Support Group Method to help a year 6 girl who was being bullied. As part of the approach, the girl drew a picture to show her peers how she was feeling. The picture was extremely powerful and said 1,000 words. The other girls really impressed me with their solutions and suggestion for how they could make her feel happier. This is a really good method that enabled the children to take ownership of the problem, while I simply supported them through the steps’

Year 6 teacher, Over Primary School.


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