Carole Phillips, our School Student Support Officer and a final year BSc (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice student at the University’s Treforest Campus, has been awarded the Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship.
The Winston Churchill Fellowship is awarded to selected British citizens to visit countries from around the world with the objective of bringing back knowledge and best practice for the benefit of others in their UK professions and communities.
For the 2014 selection process 137 fellowships were awarded with Carole being one of the recipients. Carole now plans to use her fellowship award to explore how the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) is managed in the USA and to also learn about what schools are doing to address the problem of bullying.
As part of the application process, Carole had to detail how she planned to use the award and why she had chosen to study in the USA. In preparation for her application, Carole made contact with a key professional in America who was Head of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in Clemson University, South Carolina. After submitting her application, Carole was invited to London for an interview and was shortly notified that she had been awarded the fellowship.
During Carole’s visit to the USA she plans to visit Montana, Pennsylvania and Texas over a period of four weeks. Speaking about the fellowship, Carole said: “I have been aware of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program for some time; as I work in secondary education. I have an interest in programs that attempt to combat and understand the impact that bullying has and also how it can be implemented in schools.
“The OBPP is the most researched bullying prevention program in the world and has seen reductions of bullying in schools of up to 70%. It involves not just the school, students, and staff but the local community which I believe makes it successful.”
Carole added, “Bullying has changed over the Iast decade with the saturation of social media. It is conducted via another platform, yet has the same results of intimidating and harassing its victims. Both traditional and virtual bullying are addressed on the OBPP.
“I plan to visit schools that have adopted the program and to shadow staff that are trained in dealing with bullying incidents. I will be writing a blog as I travel so my journey can be followed and when I return to the UK. I have three months to submit a report of my findings with recommendations based on my observations of the program.”
When asked about what she hopes to achieve during her travels, Carole said: “As there are no Olweus accredited schools or trainers in the UK, I want to learn about the strengths of the program and why it has been so successful. I would like to see first-hand how the OBPP is managed and to also experience what other schools do to address bullying.
“To be able to witness the OBPP ‘in action’ offers me a unique opportunity to learn good practice and gain more knowledge that I can disseminate to other professionals when I return to the UK. During my visit I have the opportunity to train and become an Olweus trainer, so I am giving it serious consideration as I would not be able to access the program in the UK.”
For further information about the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, visit www.violencepreventionworks.org