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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 6 teacher, Over Primary School.
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