Gothenborg schools cut bullying by 50%

The Olweus program has was first introduced in four schools in Gothenburg in 2002. Since then, many schools in the city have implemented the program. One of the central support persons in Gothenburg has been Göran Englund, a former teacher who now works in a central prevention unit in the city. In 2011 he published his analyses og the results from the schools' Olweus surveys. This (Swedish only) report  published by the municipal Unit for Prevention in city of Gothenburg (PREVU), comparisons have been made between 8 schools having applied the Olweus program over a number of years and 9 schools which have used a mix of programs or no specific program at all. Students from grade levels 3 to 9 (ages 8 to 14) were surveyed over a period of several years. The Olweus-schools had implemented the program under supervision of Olweus International Ltd. In the years following completed implementation, selected staff from the Olweus-schools had taken part in supportive meetings and specific supplemental training for the Olweus-program provided by PREVU.

The levels of bullying were found to be less than half as high in the 8 Olweus schools as in the comparison group. Also the proportion of long-term bullied students (one year or more) were less than half compared to the non-Olweus schools. The author, Göran Englund suggests that it is likely that the fact that school staff are given competence to work against bullying on three levels, The whole school, The classroom and The individual student, contributes to the good effects of the program. He also argues that the support offered by a municipal resource like the PREVU contributes strongly to the long term continued focus and maintennance of the good practices.

The study is based upon data collected through the Olweus Student Survey to students, which a large number of schools in Gothenburg has used for a number of years. The report is currently only available in Swedish.