Our Twelve Yays of Christmas - an end of year blog

We hope you will be able to take a break over the Christmas period after what has been a challenging year. We are thankful to all of those that have been working with children and young people under such difficult circumstances.

In the first two weeks of lockdown our site crashed under the amazing ten-fold increase in traffic to our free CPD anti-bullying online training courses. We’ve since updated the site to allow for the growing traffic. What struck us was that, at what must have been one of the scariest times in all our lives, the first thought of so many school and children’s workforce staff was to take the time to improve their anti-bullying knowledge. It’s a testament to the passion and dedication of the workforce and it makes us so proud to have been able to provide you with this online.  

According to our Zoom team Christmas quiz, there are 12 days of Christmas that start on Christmas day. We’ve come up with 12 things that we are proud of achieving in 2020, our Twelve Yays of Christmas

  1. We’ve delivered free online CPD training and webinars to over 22,000 participants. All our online training is still available and you receive a certificate of completion for all courses you undertake. Don’t miss out on this opportunity and take part today.
  2. Anti-Bullying Week 2020: United Against Bullying was a huge success reaching thousands of schools and millions of children across England, Wales and Northern Ireland (through our sister organisation the Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum). We gave out free school packs, films and social media toolkits all developed with young people. We trended across social media and even Ant and Dec, Paloma Faith, Anthony Joshua, Rishi Sunak, Emma Willis and Craig David got involved!
  3. Odd Socks Day (which forms part of Anti-Bullying Week) supported by our patron Andy Day and his band Andy and the Odd Socks was bigger than ever. We worked with Andy and the Odd Socks to bring you free school resources about celebrating what makes us all unique, a video and song which featured Princess K and choir Libera and a virtual assembly which included songs from Andy and the Odd Socks and was supported by the likes of Sir Mo Farah, Annemarie and McFly! All these resources are still on our website for you to use.
  4. We worked with a group of Looked After Children to develop and provide you with a new free CPD online training course to address the disproportionate amount that care experienced children experience bullying.
  5. In Anti-Bullying Week the Minister for Children and Families, Vicky Ford MP, announced the winners of our School Staff Award for those members of school staff that pupils nominate have gone above and beyond to address bullying. Young people chose the winners and they award Mrs Biggs and Mrs Isles with the award this year. All nominated staff received a certificate and the winners framed certificates and trophies.
  6. We worked with leading anti-bullying researcher, Dr Peter Smith (Goldsmiths University), to deliver our annual round up of all the bullying and cyberbullying research released in the previous year in the UK called our ‘Focus On Bullying 2019’.  
  7. We worked to provide a comprehensive Racist and Faith Targeted Bullying Literature Review which analysed UK research relating to racist and faith targeted bullying and continued to convene our Racist and Faith Targeted Bullying Group.  
  8. Just before lockdown we worked with Friends, Families and Travellers to consult with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children about their experiences of bullying. We developed a guide for schools as a result called ‘Bullied, Not Believed and Blamed: The experiences of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children and young people’.
  9. Our new 3-step responding to bullying tool aims to help you develop a consistent, reflective and more effective approach to responding to bullying incidence in schools and other settings.
  10. We worked with a group of young carers to develop and provide you with a new free CPD online training course to address the disproportionate amount that young carers experience bullying.
  11. The second phase of our All Together School programme which is free to schools in England and funded by the Department for Education was independently evaluated by Goldsmiths University. We couldn’t summarise all the achievements we’ve seen in our incredible All Together schools in this list but the programme has proven to reduce bullying and improve wellbeing of pupils in participating schools. We especially saw the biggest improvement in children with SEND and those on Free School Meals who we know are more likely to be bullied. You can read more about our achievements here. We are currently doing all we can to secure funding to be able to provide schools with the programme from April.
  12. We worked with our amazing 140 Anti-Bullying Alliance Members and held 5 member meetings online and one face to face before lockdown. We’re so pleased to be able to provide these online and that they provide a chance to hear from the anti-bullying sector and discuss the latest anti-bullying practice and research. We couldn’t achieve what we do without the support of our amazing members. They all have their own resources and anti-bullying tools available as well. Have a look at our members here and you can find out more about signing up to become a member here.

So that’s our Twelve Yays of Christmas. We would love to hear yours too. Please tag us using #12YaysOfXmas. We have lots of plans for 2021 and we aim to keep providing you with anti-bullying resources from ABA and our members. We all hope you have a restful, safe and happy Christmas break and we can’t wait to work with you all in the new year.

Best wishes

Martha Evans (Director of ABA) and the whole ABA team