Compulsory and recommended elements on the whole school level are:
Schools implementing the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program establish and operate a BPCC to overlook and guide the program implementation process, and thereafter the operating of the program in the school. Even though the program is quite well defined, there will always be a need for for local adaptations to match the conditions of that particular school. The BPCC has representatives from school management, teachers and other staff, support professions, parents / caregivers, students and sometimes local community representatives.
The BPCC is established for organizational purposes, and is not an anti-bullying team for handling specific cases of bullying. The committee will be in charge of the implementation of the Olweus program, and thereafter advisory to the principal in matters of the anti-bullying work in the school.
School faculty and staff build their competence in Study- and Supervision Groups (SSGs) every other week. These groups include all teaching faculty, school staff, school leadership, all support staff (nurses, school psychologists, special pedagogs etc.) and also technical / administrative staff as far as this is practically possible. Each SSG has about 15 members and two group leaders recruited from the within staff. The SSG leaders receive extra training for their task.
A comprehensive Program Handbook and other selected readings as well as audio-visual material will be studied, presented and discussed in the SSGs. As these groups become more competent and open-hearted, peer consultation is used to share the participants' own successes and frustrations.
Not all texts, films or other media sources describe bullying the way scientific studies have found it to be. As the OBPP is evidence based, the content of the study material for the SSGs is selected to be coherent and in compliance with the research base of the program.
The goal of the SSG training is to provide all school personnel a common ground to understand, observe and act when bullying and other unacceptable behavior occurs among the students.
As the school applies the program over the years, supplemental training is required to maintain the focus and competence. New members of the faculty and staff are given special training sessions to avoid deterioration of the good work against bullying.
Staff members supervising during break time must be visible and observant. They must be ready to act when unacceptable behavior is observed or suspected in the school-yard, in hallways or other places in and around the school. This is true not only for class breaks, but also for the time before and after school, and for lunch time. Bullying is known to occur more frequently during breaks and when there are no organized activities for the students.
Adult presence is known to be effective in reducing unacceptable behavior among students in such situations. What the adults do when they are supervising, is of great importance.
A thorough assessment of the usage of the physical premises of the school is the basis of a detailed and specific plan for class break supervision. Key elements here are staff density, safeguarding certain areas, staff behavior during supervision and extra signs or clothing to assure supervisor visibility (like yellow vests etc.).
Individual students are not to function as class break supervisors to protect other students from ill treatment. All students are equally encouraged to call on staff members when bullying happens or is suspected, but the responsibility of supervising during breaks lies on the adults in the school.
Each year students complete the Olweus survey on bullying. This is probably the world's most widely used instrument to obtain a picture of the situation among students regarding bullying and related topics. The statistically qualities of the survey are strong, which means that it truly measures the different aspects of bullying acurately. The survey has a large reference database worldwide. Most schools today let the students take the survey online. Questions also cover student-student and student-staff relations. It also adresses students' own and other students' behavior in situations of bullying, students' own and percepåtions of others' attitudes and intentions. Specific questions are tapping into the students' observations of how teaching staff works against bullying.
A comprehensive statistical report gives the school a good picture of the situation at hand and can be used for developing targeted initiatives to prevent and counter bullying. When the students take the survey annually the school's development can be illustrated.
When the home and school hold some of the same values and the same limits to unacceptable behavior, preventing and stopping bullying is far more successful. The school communicates its intentions and goals of the anti-bullying work to the parents / caregivers, and ask for the same values and limits to be observed in the home.
On the whole school level, all-school parent / caregiver meetings are good for communicating these principles to the homes. Also school websites are useful for providing the general information.
Routines for handling suspected or confirmed bullying cases as well as other unacceptable behavior are presented. Routines for contact and collaboration with parents / caregivers when difficulties arise are also outlined.
Direct contact and closer dialogue with parents will be described under the classroom and the individual levels.
As a supplement to all the other components in the program, a whole day school conference or a cultural event highlighting the work against bullying for both students, staff and parents, gives extra energy and focus to the anti-bullying efforts in the school.
The purpose of such a day is to gather the whole school community and have a memorable and thought-provoking experience. The whole day event may consist of presentations, debates, exhibits, artistic performances like a musical, a play or a concert - all under the header of the work against bullying.
The event is typically organized or supported by the Bullying Prevention Coordinating Committee (BPCC), and all contributions are checked out by class teachers in advance to avoid unpleasant focus on individuals or specific incidents or cases in the school.
This element of the program is not compulsory, and is not required for certification as an Olweus school in the Olweus Quality Assurance System, but it is strongly recommended as it gives a lot of extra energy to the anti-bullying work.