Final conference of our school aggression management project

 "Come on, Teacher, I was just kidding." Or was I? How can I recognise types of aggression and bullying in school? How can a complex anti-bullying programme be integrated into the busy school day? On 5 June 2018, we held the final conference of our Partnership against School Bullying programme, funded by the European Union's Erasmus+ programme. The programme will run until 31 August, which will be fully [...]

 "Come on, Teacher, I was just kidding." Or was I? How can I recognise types of aggression and bullying in school?

How can a complex anti-bullying programme fit into the busy daily life of a school?


On 5 June 2018, we held the closing conference of our Partnership against Aggression in Schools programme, funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. The programme will run until 31 August, and we will make the most of it: in August, we will organise a training session for teachers from the partner schools in Szolnok, including evaluation and planning meetings, so that they can start the school year with a new impetus and the methods and approach learned in the project can be maintained in the everyday life of the school for as long as possible.

The plenary session of the conference featured the following speakers:

  • Flóra Bacsó, the project coordinator, gave a short theoretical summary on the differences between conflict-aggression-disruption/abuse and what the three years of the project have been enough for. The model programme is not a magic wand (although there is a need for it in many cases) and this has to be accepted. Initiating change is a difficult and time-consuming process, but persistent, consistent work will bring results: a strong school community in which all involved - teachers, students, parents - feel safe. The programme has produced a wealth of technical material, which can be downloaded from from the project page.
  • Ildikó Zornánszki, Head of Department (Mayor's Office of Szolnok City, Human Resources Directorate, Health and Family Department), told us about the other city and regional programmes for physical and mental health and healthy communities.
  • Edit Gratzer-Sövényházy, Head of the Department of the National Crime Prevention Council, told us what makes the restorative approach more effective than the traditional punishment-discipline approach. The NBT is aware of the importance of alternative methods, and its programmes use alternative methods ranging from mediation to solution-focused coaching.
  • Dr. Orsolya Zolnai, lawyer, mediator and restorative facilitator of the Szolnok Service Vocational Training Centre, explained how alternative procedures can be integrated into the life of the school, as the Centre's house rules, curriculum and pedagogical programme include elements of a restorative approach, and disciplinary cases can be settled in mediation or restorative conferences before disciplinary proceedings.
  • Finally, through personal stories, we heard from teachers at the Centre how the restorative approach works in everyday life. The enthusiasm and credibility of Erika Berényiné Szabó, Dr. Hajnal Bottyánné Fehér, Éva Mészáros, Izabella Munkácsiné Tóth, trained mediators and restorative facilitators convince more and more teachers of the success of restorative methods.


Following the plenary session, parallel interactive workshops allowed participants to deepen their understanding of each programme element.

How can the same programme be adapted for different schools, even across different cultures? International knowledge sharing and exchange of experience with partner organisations in Malta and Bulgaria, in English

Restorative practices and mediation in everyday life - for school professionals. How can the topic of school aggression be dealt with in an interactive way in a classroom teacher's lesson, and through this, positively shape the classroom climate and strengthen class communities? During the session, basic training methods and tools taken from restorative techniques will be used, and the attitude-forming power of the methods will be made tangible through personal experience.

Conflict management techniques for a better atmosphere in the workplace. Concrete ways to make it easier to communicate with students on placements - for practitioners and other interested parties.

 At the end of the conference, We used the World Café method to explore sustainability issues.

 Here is a summary of this in bullet points.

  1. What is needed to integrate the methods into school life?
  • Parental involvement, parent forums
  • Legal background, required by law, should be imposed centrally
  • Include discussion groups in the timetable
  • Teachers should be able to attend training courses, with the necessary resources
  • Grants, such as Erasmus+
  • More time for children for the class teacher
  • Keep an open mind - both the board and the management are important
  • Leader's attuned attitude, belief that it will pay off, transfer of commitment
  • A charismatic leader who is not necessarily the leader of the organisation
  • Time is needed to experience
  • Involve a school psychologist, if available
  • Involvement of a school inspector
  • Organisation of case meetings
  • Working Group
  • Communication between colleagues, class visits, transfer of methods, tools, personal experiences
  • Sounding out successes
  • Less workload, fewer hours
  • practice, with expert support
  • motivating teachers, team building

2. How can we learn from each other and pass on our good practices?

  • Regular, thematic workshops, practice-oriented
  • Intra- and inter-institutional hospitalisation
  • Dissemination conferences
  • Deepening links between institutions with the help of the maintainer
  • Professional development days for teachers
  • Szolnok pedagogical days
  • Information and mediation between the institutions
  • Creating a thematic website that is free to access
  • Press, TV, internet, local media
  • convert monthly workshops into an online forum
  • student-student exchanges, visits, gateways
  • School forums e.g. child protection officers' meeting, Arany János programme meetings;
  • Be in charge
  • involvement and sensitisation of practitioners
  • City events, Szolnok Day e.g.
  • Institutions to publish professional content on their websites

The plenary was led by Wolrd Cafe:

  • János Wagner
  • Éva Deák
  • Bacsó Flóra
  • Krisztina Kukity


Although the Partnership Against Aggression in Schools project will soon come to an end, it is very reassuring to see that the methods are gaining more and more teachers.

  • According to feedback from teachers, the training courses increased their methodological knowledge; their communication skills have improved; greater empathythey can approach problematic cases with a better understanding and acceptance of the many different points of view.
  • As a result of the restorative conference, which was convened instead of disciplinary proceedings, the incident was not brought before the police, as expected, and none of the people involved had to leave the school.
  • The effectiveness and durability of mediations and restorative circles vary from school to school and from case to case. However, we can say that in all cases treated, the people concerned experienced an improvement compared to the situation before the intervention.
  • The good news is out: our trained educators have been invited to other schools to give a taste of their alternative conflict management methods, and have facilitated a reactionary circle in an external school on a specific case.

Read more about the programme and download free professional materials HERE!


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