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Pupils: Bullying

Question for Department for Education

UIN 10107, tabled on 12 September 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment she has made of trends in the level of bullying in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools since 2010.

Answered on

9 October 2017

Our most recent assessments of the levels of bullying in schools were published in July this year within The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) Teacher Voice Survey and the Omnibus Survey of Pupils and their Parents / Carers.

Questions in the NFER Teacher Voice Omnibus and a senior leader booster survey found that for each type of bullying asked about, the majority of respondents said they had rarely or never seen them occurring amongst pupils over the previous 12 months. This ranged from 73% of respondents saying they had rarely or never seen bullying based on sexist or sexual language, to 94% of respondents who said they had rarely or never seen anti-Semitic bullying. The most commonly observed form of bullying was sexist/related to sexual language with 27% reporting seeing it ‘sometimes’, ‘often’ or ‘very often’. For all types of bullying asked about in the survey, the proportion of respondents saying they had seen or received reports of them occurring in the last 12 months was higher in secondary schools than primary schools.

The Department’s Omnibus Survey of Pupils and their Parents/Carers found that nearly half of pupils (45%) said they had been bullied at least once in the past year. This survey did not cover primary age pupils.

Although we plan to ask these questions on an annual basis going forward, this was the first time these surveys have asked about levels of bullying and so we do not have comparable data to assess trends.

However, a separate survey published in 2015 - wave 2 results from the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England 2 (LSYPE 2) - compared bullying among two cohorts of 14 year olds (year 10) from 2004 and 2014. It found that 30,000 fewer people in year 10 said they had been bullied in the last twelve months - a drop from 41% in 2004 to 36% in 2014. The analysis of later LSYPE2 waves will also include bullying figures. These findings will be published when the analysis is complete and quality assured.

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