Implementation

On this page you will find information about how to implement Dembra. The checklist below guides the school through five different stages: introduction, research, selecting measures, implementation and evaluation. After the checklist there are detailed descriptions of the different stages, information for the school’s Dembra team and details of school seminars.

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  • 1 Introduction

    Your school has decided to participate in Dembra. Now what?

    The school has to:

    1. Institutionalise the programme by informing and consulting with teachers and staff, students, parents and other stakeholders
    2. Establish a Dembra team made up of teachers and leaders to organise the programme
    3. Create a calendar for research activities, school seminars etc.
    4. 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)
    • Students
    • 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.

     

  • 2 Survey completed

    The research phase of the Dembra programme comprises three activities: the survey or other research activities for the students, a workshop with teachers and a seminar with student representatives.

    The survey takes around 15 minutes to complete and should be answered by students, teachers and leaders. The survey is anonymous, and the results from each school will be treated in confidence.

    The survey charts perceived student participation in decision-making at the school, tolerance of different opinions and the extent of prejudice at the school. The answers form part of the research that eventually determines what the school chooses to focus on during the Dembra programme.

    The questions put to teachers and students are largely identical, but the teachers are also given some questions about background variables.

    In combined primary and lower secondary schools the questions should be answered by teachers in every year, but primary school pupils should not participate in the survey. In the case of primary pupils, we instead recommend that the teachers talk to the pupils about well-being, exclusion and being different.

    Student survey

    The students are assured complete anonymity, and it is therefore not necessary to obtain the consent of parents/carers. We still recommend that parents are given both general information about Dembra and information about the survey itself. It is not a problem if some parents do not want their children to participate in the survey. Parents could also be shown the survey if they so wish.

    Teacher and leadership survey

    Participation in the survey is voluntary for teachers and school leaders. However, we hope that staff will want to take part in order that the survey can provide input for the programme. The data will be anonymised after the survey has been completed.

  • 3 Staff workshop completed

    The staff workshop is part of the research into the needs of the school in order to help identify the school’s priorities. The aim of the workshop is to enable teachers and other staff to discuss thoroughly and openly what they feel are the school’s challenges in relation to the issues that Dembra raises. The workshop is also an opportunity to present the Dembra team to the rest of the staff.

    Open exchange

    One premise for the workshop is that the full scope of the various topics should be clearly addressed so that staff do not feel forced into a particular way of thinking from the outset. A democratic culture and preventing group-based hostility are key issues in Dembra, and this enables the participants to raise a range of different topics: racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, other prejudice, extremism and radicalisation, hate speech, use of language, the formation of cliques in the school, inclusion, student participation and more.

    The Dembra team’s responsibilities

    The Dembra team is responsible for conducting the workshop but should consult with the Dembra advisor to establish whether the latter is able to attend. The group should also collate and process the results of the workshop for use as feedback when the team prepares to propose focus areas for the school.

    Proposed agenda for the seminar

    Part 1 – Information about Dembra

    • Present the Dembra topics and background as well as its principles for prevention
    • Present the calendar for implementation
    • Provide information about the Dembra team’s role. If the Dembra advisor is to lead the workshop, it may be a good idea to include some research or exercises linked to some key Dembra topics. The Dembra team could propose issues that they wish to address. It may also be an idea to invite external speakers to introduce the various topics.

    Part 2 – Group workshop

    1. Each group is assigned a set of principles.
    2. The groups should discuss and share their experiences of the school’s strengths and weaknesses. See questions to be discussed below. The groups should take notes, either on paper or on a computer.
    3. Spend some time mingling and sharing your ideas. If using paper, the teachers could comment in writing on each other’s papers.
    4. If the results of the survey are ready, they could be presented and discussed. What can be taken from the survey?
    5. The Dembra team collects the sheets or has the minutes from the workshop sent to them. They should use them actively in their further work on drawing up the school’s focus areas and Dembra plan.

    Questions for discussion:
    a) What are the school’s challenges in relation to group-based hostility and intolerance?
    b) What resources does the school have for dealing with these challenges?
    c) What should be the goal for the school’s Dembra participation?
    d) How can the Dembra principles and survey results be used in:
    Subject curricula
    Strategy plans
    Annual plans
    School rules
    Other contexts

  • 4 Seminar with student representatives completed

    A proposal for how to conduct the student seminar has been drawn up in order to institutionalise the Dembra programme amongst students. The school is free to decide whether the student council or other students at the school should be appointed student representatives. In consultation with the Dembra advisor, the school decides whether the seminar should be conducted by the Dembra advisor or by the school.

    The seminar for the student representatives is part of the research phase. The seminar should be held once the school has received the results of the survey so that they can be discussed with the students. Based on the students’ own experiences and discussions, the seminar should prepare feedback and proposals that the staff must take on board in the further process. This way, the Dembra programme becomes institutionalised amongst both students and teachers in line with the Dembra principles on inclusion, participation and institutionalisation. The student seminar can be seen as a starting point for further student participation in the process.

    Schedule at least one hour, preferably more, for the seminar. This is our proposed programme for the seminar:

    • What is Dembra?
      The students are introduced to the school’s Dembra programme and what it entails.
    • What makes a “good school”?
      The students are asked to describe their perfect school.
    • What are things like in your school?
      The students should describe the current environment in their school.
    • What does the survey tell us?
      The student representatives are given an opportunity to discuss and comment on the results of the survey.
    • How do the students want to approach Dembra?
      Based on the students’ own assessments and discussions on the results of the Dembra survey, they should come up with proposals for the next steps.

     

  • 5 Focus areas decided

    Using the information gathered during the research stage, the school should now decide what to focus on in its prevention work. The focus areas should address some of the challenges identified in the research phase. They also provide pointers for the ongoing discussion on relevant preventive measures, be they new initiatives or reworked, existing measures.

    Support

    Work on the focus areas takes place by way of support sessions and the Dembra team’s own activities.

    1. First support session

    In the first session the Dembra team and the advisor review the results of the research phase: the survey, the seminar for student representatives and the workshop for teachers. Using the results, we will discuss potential focus areas for the school.

    2. The Dembra team identifies focus areas

    The team continues to discuss the focus areas. The proposals they arrive at must be institutionalised through discussions across the different departments / year groups. Once the team has reached an agreement, the focus areas should be entered on the “Our Dembra year” page. [link]

    3. Second support session

    This session addresses adjustments and potential prioritisation of the focus areas. Potential measures within the respective focus areas should also be discussed.

    4. Focus areas decided

    The Dembra team must institutionalise the modified focus areas amongst the school leadership before entering them on the “Our Dembra year” page. [link]

  • 6 Discussed Dembra initiatives by year/section

    The school has now decided on a set of focus areas for preventing group-based hostility. What measures have already been taken in the different areas? What can we do differently? Which new initiatives does the school wish to try out?

    These questions should be raised in different fora at the school. As a minimum, we recommend that either year teams or subject teams discuss amongst themselves whether there is something they wish to pursue within the chosen focus areas.

    The teams can discuss potential measures at several levels. One option is to use a teaching plan from dembra.no or other resources that can be applied to the focus area in question. This could involve measures for professional development amongst the teachers, a review of teaching materials / textbooks or measures addressing inclusion or critical thinking.

    The teams should also look at measures for the school as a whole. They could be measures that the school has already introduced or proposals for new measures. They could involve revising the school rules or the action plan for combating offensive behaviour / bullying. It may also be relevant to revise or discuss friendship weeks, excursions and other events, the marking of special occasions, parents’ evenings etc.

    The Dembra team is responsible for collecting the feedback from the other teams and, where relevant, from other bodies, and for continuing the implementation process. Proposed measures that only apply to specific year groups / subject teams (e.g. teaching plans) can be added directly to the Dembra plan (see next item). Proposals that apply to other year groups or the entire school must be discussed by the Dembra team and the necessary bodies (management, student council, parents’ working committee).

  • 7 Dembra plan completed

    The Dembra plan should be a summary of the measures chosen for the different focus areas. The plan may include both existing and new measures.

    You can download the plan here: Word PDF

    The plan should be prepared by the Dembra team, but the final plan must be institutionalised amongst the school management.

    Once the Dembra team has drawn up a proposal for the plan, you should make an appointment with the advisor for a support session (digital or physical).

    Five things to bear in mind

    1. Focus areas: The measures you propose must address the challenges or needs identified within the school’s focus areas.
    2. Dembra principles: How do the measures help with prevention? The Dembra principles can be viewed as criteria for what has a preventive effect and potentially also how a measure should be designed. Use them as questions when discussing potential measures: Is it inclusive? Does it promote critical thinking?
    3. Different levels: Try to identify measures at different levels across the school, from classroom teaching to professional development for teachers to management and long-term planning. Read more about the different levels here.
    4. Existing measures: The Dembra plan should include not just new measures but also measures that are already in place. These measures can then be further developed based on the Dembra principles.
    5. Time frame: Some measures can be implemented swiftly, while others will take longer. The plan can accommodate both and therefore does not require an end date as such.

    Under the Dembra team tab you will find a proposed agenda for a meeting in which you will produce a draft Dembra plan. If the school runs the Dembra programme in the form of seminars, this process starts at the very first group seminar.

    About the text boxes in the plan

    Measure

    Here you should state which action you intend to take. These may be new measures that you wish to take or measures that the school has previously introduced and which are linked to the focus area in question. Measures may be small-scale or large-scale. One example of a large-scale measure could be drawing up a new plan for how to work on the psychosocial environment, while a small-scale measure could involve creating a rota for teacher supervision of the canteen.

    Dembra principles

    Here you should state which of the five Dembra principles the measure relates to. A measure can be linked to one or more principles. However, no measure should contradict any of the principles. If it does, it is a sign that the measure will not have a preventive effect.

    Expected outcome

    You can assess the measure against the outcome when conducting your evaluation in order to determine whether the measure was successful or whether it should be adjusted or discontinued. Try to arrive at one concrete outcome you wish to achieve with this particular measure. Is the goal to increase parental attendance at parents’ evenings? Or do you want more parents to leave a smiley face after a completed parents’ evening? Is it the fact that teachers assessed a teaching plan as being successful or that the students themselves reported it as successful?

    Parties involved

    Who is involved in the measure? Does it involve all students or a particular year group? Teachers or management?

    Co-ordinator

    Here you should state who is responsible for implementing the measure. It should be either a named individual or the name of an established group within the school, e.g. the Year 10 team. The person or group listed here will be in charge of planning and implementing the measure. For that reason it is important that everyone involved is aware of their respective responsibilities.

    The Dembra team or individuals within the team can also assume responsibility for a measure, or it could be someone else appointed by management.

    Documentation

    How will you document the measure you are taking? Will you prepare a brief report? Publish a story on the school’s website? Publish in social media? Or use other forms of documentation?

    Please note that the measures you have asked for support on must be documented briefly on dedicated forms (see next item). In the case of other measures, you are free to use any form of documentation you wish.

  • 8 Measures taken and guidance received

    Once the Dembra plan has been approved by the headteacher, the various measures must be put into practice. The associated processes depend on the type and scope of the measure. Using materials downloaded from dembra.no is an example of a measure that can be implemented relatively easily. A proposed measure to revise the school’s action plan on offensive behaviour requires a more thorough process. More extensive measures require dedicated project teams, time schedules and deadlines. The time frame must be adjusted accordingly and could extend over one or more academic years.

    However, some measures will have to be implemented while the school is still involved with Dembra. This may amount to two or three clearly defined measures from the Dembra plan which are then discussed with the advisor in a Dembra team meeting. These measures should be identified by the Dembra team and their advisor.

    As a starting point for the support session, the Dembra team should submit brief reports on each of the measures they are seeking support on. Feel free to use this report template.

  • 9 Staff training completed

     

    The Dembra team must ensure that staff complete the professional development programme that forms part of Dembra. Staff seminars are described in more detail under the “Content of school seminars” tab. Schools that participate online can use the PowerPoint presentations and descriptions published on these pages. Schools that use seminars may request a visit from a Dembra advisor who will hold a course for staff.

    The aim of the seminars is to:

    • exchange experiences surrounding the school’s strengths and challenges in relation to its work on democracy and preventing group-based hostility
    • focus on participation, critical thinking and diversity competence as principles for prevention
    • identify attainment targets associated with these principles
    • review relevant exercises and explore the learning resources at dembra.no

    See the “Content of school seminars” tab for further details.

  • 10 Evaluate and adjust for future initiatives

    The Dembra team should carry out a thorough evaluation at the last meeting before submitting a summary to the Dembra advisor. Next they should look at how to continue the prevention programme.

    Ahead of this meeting, the school could hold School Seminar 3, with contributions from an external speaker/advisor. The entire staff is involved in the evaluation process at this seminar, and teachers may make suggestions as to how to continue and adjust the implementation of the Dembra principles in the school’s prevention work.

    Here is a suggested agenda for the evaluation meeting:

    • Evaluate what has been done to date. What has/hasn’t worked?

    Look at concrete measures that the school has taken (Dembra plan): How did they work out? Have we got any closer to the goals for each measure?

    Have the measures helped strengthen the work on the Dembra principles?

    • How can we continue to bolster our work on prevention?

    What do we wish to continue and how? Is there anything that we can improve upon?

    What is the situation at the school right now? Have we identified any new needs and ideas for prevention work in light of the Dembra principles?

    • Take a look at the professional learning community at the school. How do teachers and teachers/leaders work together to implement measures? What can be improved? How can we strengthen the school’s ability to take action?
    • Minutes from the evaluation process should be submitted to the Dembra team.

    See the suggested agenda for Dembra team meeting 5.