Step 5: Review and sustain
Set up processes to regularly check and review actions and outcomes. Use data to monitor the impacts of your actions, determine what is working well and whether any changes are required.
Most effective bullying prevention initiatives are sustained through a process of continuous improvement, with ongoing monitoring and review.
The data your school has collected at the start of the process of self-review can form a baseline against which future change can be measured. This can help show the effectiveness of any new initiatives and where they might need to be refined.
The data can also feed into a continual improvement process as programmes and initiatives evolve.
With surveys, it’s helpful to use the same tools, in the same way each time so comparisons are valid.
In addition to survey data, your school community (staff, students, parents/whanau and community partners etc) should be consulted about what is working well, opportunities for change and any proposals before they are implemented. These qualitative sources can give you deeper insights into what’s working, in a way that your quantitative survey data can’t reveal.
Self-review questions could include:
- how are we doing?
- how do we know?
- what evidence do we have?
- do we need to do something different? Why?
- what do we want to keep doing? Stop doing? Why?
- are we getting the outcomes we wanted? How do we know?
After an agreed length of time, the bullying prevention team should review the Action Plan and evaluate progress on meeting the goals. The results may then be shared with the wider school community.
It is important to note that in the first year, more bullying behaviour may be reported as awareness of the issue is raised. Therefore, it’s important to manage wider school community expectations and set goals beyond one year to monitor change.
Using data to evaluate
The bullying prevention team should use data to evaluate progress and share the results with their school community. Collecting data should become a regular part of your school’s annual or biennial activities. Just as the original survey data was collected, ongoing data gathering and analysis should also be treated in the same way. This will enable your school community to recognise and celebrate progress, set new goals and adjust your bullying prevention plan.
Your school could also conduct annual focus groups. These groups could generate success stories that your survey data doesn’t reveal.
For further information on ‘reviewing and evaluation’ as a component of the self-review cycle refer to: