Thousands fewer pupils are being bullied, study reveals

17 November 2014

Ten thousand fewer pupils are being bullied every day than 10 years ago, a major new study of secondary school pupils has revealed.

The Department of Education report examines the experiences of two cohorts of Year 9 pupils, followed by the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England 2 (LSYPE2) and Next Steps (previously known as LSYPE1). This landmark study, which involved tens of thousands of 13-year-olds from 2004 and 2013, is one of the largest of its kind ever undertaken.

It shows bullying among Year 9 pupils has fallen dramatically since 2004. The findings show that when comparing 2013 to 2004:

  • 30,000 fewer pupils said they had been bullied in the last 12 months – a drop from 45% of pupils to 40%
  • 30,000 fewer pupils said they had been victims of violent bullying – down from 18% to 13%
  • 10,000 fewer pupils reported being bullied every day – down from 10% of pupils to 8%, a drop of a fifth

A recent Stonewall report published over the summer also showed that homophobic bullying has fallen, with the number of secondary school teachers who say their pupils are often or very often the victim of homophobic bullying has almost halved since 2009. To further tackle this, the government announced last month a £2 million fund for projects to address homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools.

Speaking before the start of Anti-Bullying Week, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan praised teachers, charities and parents for their efforts. She also urged them to continue their “moral mission” to further reduce bullying, recognising that many parents consider it their number one concern about what happens at school.

“No child should have to suffer the fear and victimisation of bullying,” the Minister said. “Today’s figures show that our teachers, parents and charities have made great strides in reducing bullying, which I know is the number one concern of many parents.

“But even one child bullied is one too many, so I am calling on all teachers, charities and parents to continue this moral mission and reduce bullying further.”

Notes to editors

  1. These findings come from the second ‘Longitudinal study of young people in England’ (LSYPE2). It is following 13,100 13-year-olds from 2013 to 2019 and aims to learn about their experiences and life through secondary education and beyond.
  2. The 2004 findings come from LSYPE1, now known as Next Steps, which is following 15,700 people who were aged 13-14 in 2004. Next Steps is now managed by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) at the Institute of Education, University of London. CLS will be carrying out the eighth wave of Next Steps in 2015 when the participants are 25 years old.
  3. The numbers above are estimates of how many fewer young people in the cohort would be victims of the kinds of bullying described. They are based on the percentage point reduction in the rate of each type of bullying between LSYPE1 (2004) and LSYPE2 (2013) applied to the year 9 pupil population in 2013. See the comparison estimates of bullying of year 9 pupils in England.

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