Learning Together

A whole-school program that aims to improve the school environment to reduce bullying and aggression and promote student health and wellbeing.

Learning Together is a school-based intervention grounded in schoolwide policies and systems, restorative practices, and social and emotional education with adolescents to reduce bullying and aggression and promote various dimensions of health and wellbeing. The program includes all-school staff trainings, restorative practices delivered by staff and specialized restorative practices for more serious behavior problems, action group meetings comprised of students and staff, and teacher-delivered lessons on social and emotional skills. The program lasts three years, during grades 8-10 in the United Kingdom (or middle school in the United States).

Whole-school interventions are aimed at modifying overall school policies and systems to enhance student engagement; restorative practices aim to prevent or resolve conflicts between students or between school staff and students; and social and emotional education lessons aim to teach students needed skills to regulate their emotions and relationships.

Blueprints has certified one study evaluating this program. Bonell et al. (2018) conducted a clustered experimental design to examine 7,121 students (ages 11-12 years) in 40 secondary schools in Southeast England. Schools were randomly assigned to either the treatment group (school n = 20, student n = 3,605) or control group (school n = 20; student n = 3,516) based on key school-level determinants of violence. The control schools continued their programs as usual, with some having their own anti-bullying programs. The baseline (pre-treatment) assessment occurred in spring 2014, when students neared the end of year 7, with a 24-month follow-up in the spring of year nine, and a 36-month follow-up in spring of year ten.

The sample excluded schools that the UK national education inspectorate rated as poor/inadequate.

The analyses showed significant condition differences at 36 months (conclusion of the intervention) for one of two primary outcomes: bullying victimization but not aggression. Out of the fifteen secondary outcomes, eight were significantly improved by the intervention: overall quality of life, total difficulties, total well-being, ever smoked, ever drank alcohol, time drunk, offered illicit drugs, and contact with police.

To date, the Washington State Institute for Public Policy has not conducted a cost-benefit analysis of Learning Together.

References:

Bonell, C., Allen, E., Warren, E., McGowan, J., Bevilacqua, L., Jamal, F., . . . Viner, R. M. (2018). Effects of the Learning Together intervention on bullying and aggression in English secondary schools (INCLUSIVE): A cluster randomised controlled trial. Lancet, 392(10163), 2452-2464.

Read the Program Fact Sheet