Thursday 22 March 2018

Pupils’ bullying fears revealed

Ben Kendall

Schoolchildren in England are more fearful of becoming a victim of anti-social behaviour than elsewhere in Europe, researchers have said.

The study by researchers at Anglia Ruskin University is the first cross-European examination of the experiences and perceptions of crime, bullying and anti-social behaviour of young people during their journey between school and home.

The two-year study, which collected information from more than 4,000 school pupils aged 12-16 in eight European countries, discovered that 31pc of pupils in England were worried about being the victim of bullying or crime, compared to 19pc across Europe as a whole.

Stephen Moore, reader in social policy at Anglia Ruskin, said: "The primary threat to personal safety comes from other pupils, generally from the same school.

"Whilst incidents may be regarded as 'low impact' in terms of objective levels of harm - name-calling was much more common than violence - these low impact incidents can potentially have a significant effect on the emotional wellbeing of young people.

"Interestingly, the patterns of bullying outside school and the responses varied quite noticeably across the different European countries, and the same notions of bullying were not held across the various countries."

The study, which sampled 855 children in the east of England, from a mixture of rural and urban schools, found that 17pc 'sometimes' experienced victimisation on their way to and from school and 4pc often or always experienced victimisation incidents, results which were similar to the European average.

Mr Moore said: "The issue of who to turn to when a problem occurs during the time before and after school was a dilemma for the young people, as it was recognised by the pupils that threats and violations to personal safety at these times were not necessarily a matter in which they wanted to turn to the school for support.

"It was most often other young people who provided the support and advice when young people were bullied.

"The research found that this level of support was not fully acknowledged in current bullying strategies, nor was the sophistication of young people in dealing with bullying incidents."

As well as speaking to pupils in England, researchers sampled children from Spain, Poland, Hungary, Cyprus, Portugal, Holland and Italy.

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