Your school has decided to participate in Dembra. Now what?
The school has to:
- Institutionalise the programme by informing and consulting with teachers and staff, students, parents and other stakeholders
- Establish a Dembra team made up of teachers and leaders to organise the programme
- Create a calendar for research activities, school seminars etc.
- Draw up a plan for meetings with the Dembra advisor
1. Institutionalising the school’s participation in Dembra
It is important that the school is motivated if it is to benefit from participating in Dembra. Institutionalisation means that the Dembra objectives and principles must be addressed and discussed with different groups at the school. Above all it is important that teachers and other staff get a chance to have an open discussion. Institutionalising the programme amongst students and parents is also important.
Key groups for institutionalisation:
- Staff (teachers and others)
- Parents / parents’ working committee
- School owner
- Other stakeholders: local community, partner schools, other
The school management makes the final decision to participate in Dembra, but the initiative should be institutionalised by involving stakeholders before the decision is made and enabling them to have their say once the decision has been made.
Dembra allows the school to define particular challenges relating to exclusion and group-based hostility. It is therefore important to accommodate the wishes and input of the different groups. The ability to influence the content of the Dembra programme is crucial to creating motivation and engagement.
2. Establish the school’s Dembra team
The school should set up a Dembra team tasked with organising the school’s prevention programme. The team is responsible for co-ordinating, updating and involving staff through all phases of the process.
The Dembra team must include representatives of both management and teachers at the school. We recommend including teachers from different year groups in the team and ensuring good communication with all year groups and subject teams at the school. The school may also consider including students in the team.
The group should appoint a spokesperson to oversee communication with the school’s Dembra advisor. The contact person could be the chair of the team, but the school is free to organise the team in other ways.
The names, positions, email addresses and phone numbers of the team’s members should be submitted to the Dembra advisor. [kunne ikke dette være et skjema?]
The Dembra team must meet regularly to discuss and plan the programme. In a busy week it may be easier to hold several short meetings rather than a few longer sessions. However, it is important that the management allocates the team sufficient time for the programme. Under the Dembra team tab you will find tips on how the group could work.
The Dembra team is also responsible for keeping staff updated about the programme. The team must provide regular information about Dembra during common planning time, e.g. in the form of short briefings on what is happening.
The checklist on these pages serves as a tool for the Dembra team. The team is responsible for implementing (and then ticking off) all the items on the list.
3. Calendar for implementation
Once the school’s Dembra team has been set up, the team starts scheduling the items on the checklist and plotting dates in the calendar under “Our Dembra Year”.
The following items should be scheduled straight away: [taken from the timetable in the info leaflet]
- Staff workshop on the school’s challenges and resources (School Seminar 1)
- Completing the survey or other research activities
- Meeting with student representatives
The more dates the team are able to confirm at an early stage, the better. For example, the school could set the dates of all staff seminars [link] and other activities relating to the prevention programme.
Dembra is designed to help schools take preventive measures they themselves have identified. This could involve further refining existing measures or implementing new measures. The measures are added to the Dembra calendar but also require their own schedules with deadlines and other milestones. Read more about this in the chapter about the Dembra plan [link].
4. Plan for meetings with the Dembra advisor
A Dembra advisor will provide support to the Dembra team during the implementation period. The contact person nominated by the Dembra team has overall responsibility for maintaining contact with the advisor. Communication primarily takes place by email and phone. Support for the entire team in the form of physical or electronic meetings is provided as and when needed, but on the following occasions as a minimum:
- When first introducing Dembra at the school.
- Once all research activities have been completed. When discussing and analysing the school’s circumstances and the feedback that has been received. First discussion on potential focus areas.
- Once the focus areas have been determined (or a draft has been prepared). When adjusting and revising focus areas and during the first discussion about potential measures.
- Once the first draft of the Dembra plan has been completed. When adjusting and revising the plan.
- Once the first measures have been implemented at the school. When evaluating and making adjustments before further implementation.
The timings of these support meetings should be determined by the Dembra team during the introduction phase in consultation with the advisor. The meetings should be entered in the Dembra calendar.