BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: In Depth: Unions 2000  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Unions 2000 Monday, 17 April, 2000, 00:24 GMT 01:24 UK
Bullying 'rife' in schools
girl being attacked by two other pupils
13% of pupils say they have been physically attacked
More than a third of secondary school pupils in England and Wales have been bullied in the past year, researchers say.

Just over a quarter of pupils have been threatened with violence in school, while 13% have been physically attacked.

The survey, published on Monday by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), also indicates that 30% of pupils feel their teachers are not aware of bullying in school.

And almost one in 10 say they have missed school because of their fear of violence.

anonymous teenager walking on own
Victims of bullying can feel very isolated

The findings of the Mori survey of 2,600 pupils, aged 11 to 16, are revealed as delegates arrive in Belfast for the ATL's annual conference, where on Wednesday they will debate the issue of social inclusion.

The poll indicates that younger pupils are twice as likely to experience bullying than older pupils - more than half of 11-year-olds report incidents compared with a quarter of 15 and 16-year-olds.

But it is the older pupils, two out of five of them, who are more likely to feel their teachers are not aware of bullying.

The survey also suggests a quarter of pupils are worried about their personal safety while travelling to and from school, as well as at school itself.

Regional variations

Girls are more worried about violence (44% compared with 39% of boys), although boys are more likely to have been threatened (33% compared with 19% of girls).

Three times as many boys than girls (19% of boys compared with 6% of girls) say they have been physically attacked at school.

The findings indicate that schools in the North West have been more successful in tackling bullying than elsewhere.

Just under two-thirds of pupils in the region say they have never been bullied, while nearly three quarters believe their teachers are aware of the issue.

Bullying appears to be more widespread in the Midlands, where 43% of pupils say they have been victims.

The survey indicates that pupils in Wales are the most likely to receive threats of violence, with 31% reporting this has happened to them in the past year, while 16% of pupils in the South West say they have been attacked.

'Shocking'

The main findings are very similar to a report the ATL published a year ago, which suggests little has changed. ATL general secretary Peter Smith said the findings were "shocking".

"Schools do attempt to provide young people with a safe environment to learn.

"However, no matter how much a school tries to change its culture, bullying has a tendency to rear its ugly head.

"It seems that youngsters are now increasingly becoming victims of violence.

"If young people are worried about their personal safety while at school, this begs the question, how are they going to feel once they are in the big wide world?"

More training

A separate report says that trainee teachers should have more guidance on how to deal with bullies.

The study by researchers at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and Tottori University, Japan, suggests that many trainees are not confident about working with children who bully, trying to make them stop, and dealing with their parents.

It indicates that student teachers believe training in how to talk to bullies and their victims is particularly necessary.

Commenting on the study, presented to the British Psychological Society's annual conference, Professor Peter Smith, of Goldsmiths College, said: "Teachers need to be well-informed about bullying, and confident in dealing with it, if anti-bullying work is to be effective.

"The provision of core material on the topic of bullying should be seriously considered as an important part of basic training for teachers."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Peter Smith, Association of Teachers and Lecturers
"Shocked that there are so many children experiencing bullying"
The BBC's Jane Warr
"Schools cannot combat bullying on their own"
See also:

16 Apr 00 | N Ireland
04 Apr 00 | UK Education
16 Feb 00 | UK Education
17 Feb 00 | UK Education
06 Mar 00 | UK Education
29 Mar 00 | UK Education
Links to more Unions 2000 stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Unions 2000 stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes