Page last updated at 06:49 GMT, Wednesday, 17 February 2010

One in five Year Sevens bullied at primary school

primary school bullying
The survey found girls are happier than boys at school

Twenty two percent of 11-year-olds in Northern Ireland say they have been physically bullied at school.

A further 36% reported being bullied in other ways, including name calling, being left out of games, or having nasty stories spread about them.

More than 3,500 children, from 268 primary schools across Northern Ireland, were questioned for the 2009 Kids' Life and Times Survey.

The survey was compiled by ARK at Queen's and the University of Ulster.

Dr Katrina Lloyd from Queen's University said the survey gave children the opportunity to express their opinions.

"The years spent at primary school are crucial to a child's development - not only in terms of what they learn but also their general wellbeing," she said.

"It is important that those involved in educating our children understand the extent to which they do or do not enjoy being at school and the pressures they are under.

"This survey will help inform education policy makers in making decisions that affect thousands of school children across Northern Ireland."

The survey found that girls were happier than boys as school, while 71% of all pupils knew there was someone in their school whose job was to deal with bullying.

Most children said they would turn to parents, family or friends if something went wrong in their lives. But 5% of boys and 3% of girls said they would turn to no-one.

The survey was funded by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.

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