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Stand Together

Stand Together: Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Wellbeing in Schools 

In UK primary schools, over 1 in 5 pupils are bullied on a weekly basis. This can lead to poor mental health into adolescence and adulthood, and can impact academic performance and future career prospects.  

The Stand Together Randomised Controlled Trial is looking at ways to reduce bullying and promote wellbeing in primary schools in the UK. The Trial is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and CEDAR is working alongside teams in the Universities of Bangor, Exeter, Oxford and Cardiff.

As a collective we are working with 118 primary schools across England and Wales to evaluate the effectiveness of an antibullying programme called KiVa. KiVa is a well-evidence whole-school antibullying programme developed in Finland that covers 50% of the required UK Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) curriculum. It is focused on preventing and addressing cases of bullying, as well as promoting friendships and building children’s social skills. This Trial is looking at whether KiVa can be as successful in the UK context as it has been in 13 other countries around the world.

In the summer of 2021, we collected data on bullying, wellbeing and empathy, from thousands of children in years 3, 4 and 5 (ages 7-10), and their teachers, in those 118 primary schools.

In September 2021, half of our schools were randomly allocated to start implementing KiVa. This intervention will run until the end of the academic year (July 2022) after which schools will be able to keep the KiVa materials and resources. Many of the schools who did not receive KiVa in the first allocation round will have the opportunity to receive the materials, training and resources for the next academic year.

This summer (2022) we will return to all 118 primary schools to collect our follow-up data with the same children, now in years 4, 5 and 6. This will allow us to measure the effectiveness of KiVa as an antibullying programme in the UK.  


If you would like further information please don’t hesitate to contact Dr Julia Badger: