BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 30 November 2007, 17:52 GMT
England's pupils feel less safe
Fighting
Pupils in England felt among the least secure in a global league table
Children in England feel less safe at school than those in comparable countries, a survey suggests.

A comparison ranked 10-year-old English pupils 37th out of 45 countries in a league table of feelings of security.

This was below countries such as Iran, Russia and Morocco. Pupils felt safest in Norway and Sweden, and least safe in South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago.

The questions were in a wider survey focusing on primary school reading standards, conducted every five years.

Injuries

There was also a higher expectation among pupils in England that pupils would be injured by a classmate.

"Fewer children in England perceive school to be a safe place than in most other countries," says the report, part of the wider Progress in International Reading Literacy Study.

"Pupils in England appear to identify being injured by another pupil or someone in their class being injured as a more frequent occurrence than in most other countries.

"The proportion of pupils in England agreeing that someone in their class had been injured by another pupil (59%) is the second highest in the survey, after Spain and equal to Trinidad and Tobago.

"Perhaps unsurprisingly, boys were significantly more likely to indicate that they themselves had been injured (43% compared to 35% of girls)."

The findings were described as "horrendous" by Liberal Democrat schools spokesman David Laws.

"Schools should be places of safety for youngsters. How can children successfully learn while they are fearful of being attacked? It is a truly shocking state of affairs when the rising levels of violence in our society have also entered into our children's classrooms."

The Department for Children, Schools and Families is set to publish its Children's Plan - and promised that such concerns would be addressed.

"We are very interested in finding out more about children's views on life and how we can help them to fulfil their potential while being happy," said a DCFS spokesperson.

"That's why we have just completed a major consultation to find out their views on a wide range of issues. We will make further announcements on this shortly as part of the Children's Plan."

SEE ALSO
UK schools slip down in science
29 Nov 07 |  Education
England falls in reading league
28 Nov 07 |  Education
More children into primary school
30 Nov 07 |  Education

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific