Pupils are losing faith in their schools’ response to bullying, survey shows

The proportion of pupils who think their school handles bullying well has fallen in recent years, new government data shows.

In the year to March 2018, 72 per cent of pupils aged 10 to 15 reported their school dealt with bullying either “very well” or “quite well”, down from 78 per cent in the year ending March 2014.

Of the pupils who took part in the Crime Survey for England and Wales in 2017-18, 30 per cent said their school dealt with bullying “very well”, while 41 per cent said their school dealt with the issue “quite well”.

Thirteen per cent of pupils said their school didn’t deal very well with bullying, and 11 per cent said their school handled it badly. Five per cent said bullying was not a problem at their school, while six per cent said they didn’t know how well their school dealt with bullying.

The data, published to coincide with the beginning of anti-bullying week, follows another survey in September which showed that 70 per cent of parents believe action by heads to stop bullying is falling short of what is needed.

At the time, school leaders’ union the NAHT warned that pupils were paying the “human price” of school funding cuts because the “skilled professionals” who create the environment for pupils to learn in are having their hours cut.

According to this latest report, the proportion of bullied pupils who also receive extra help for other issues at school, has dropped from a high of 29 per cent in 2015-16 to 23 per cent in 2017-18, the lowest level since 2014-15, when 21 per cent received extra help.

According to Department for Education analysis of the crime survey, most of these pupils received extra help with their school work or learning, but a small number also received help for “other things such as communicating, to stay calm, getting about or taking their medicine”.

“Those who receive extra help were much more likely to say they had been bullied than those who didn’t receive any extra help at school.”

The data also shows a rise in the proportion of pupils who reported that all of the bullying they suffer takes place at school.

In 2017-18, 63 per cent of pupils who reported being bullied said all of that bullying took place in school, up from 58 per cent in 2015-16 and 53 per cent in 2013-14.

At the same time, there has been “no change” in the proportion of young people who reported cyber-bullying.

“It is estimated that 7 per cent of young people aged 10 to 15 in England in the year ending March 2018 had experienced cyber bullying. There has been no significant change in this figure from previous years.”

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