Department for Education written question – answered on 6th December 2018
Naseem Shah Labour, Bradford West
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the level of bullying in schools; and whether there has been an increase in the level of bullying of BAME children in schools.
Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)
Harassment or bullying of any kind is completely unacceptable and abhorrent in any setting including schools. All schools are legally required to have a behaviour policy with measures to prevent all forms of bullying. Schools have a role in promoting community cohesion and integration and are required to support pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and to promote fundamental British values. This is a priority for the Government and the Department working with the sector to support them in this role, including, for example, encouraging social mixing across schools.
Earlier this year an extension was announced to the Department’s anti-bullying grant programme, which is now providing over £2.8 million of funding between September 2016 and March 2020, to four anti-bullying organisations that support schools to tackle bullying. This includes projects targeting bullying of particular groups such as those with special educational need and disabilities and those who are victims of hate related to bullying, along with a project to report bullying online.
Whilst there is no legal requirement on schools to record and report incidents of bullying the department uses evidence from surveys as an indicator of the prevalence of bullying.
This includes the Department’s omnibus survey of pupils and their parents/carers. The latest report (September 2018) shows an overall reduction in reports of bullying compared to the previous year, with 37% of pupils surveyed reporting being a victim of bullying at least once in the last year, compared to 45% of pupils the previous year.
There was an increase in the proportion of pupils who reported being bullied at least once a month in the last year because of their race, nationality or ethnicity (3%, compared to 1% the previous year).
Other surveys used by the department include Bullying in England – a report based on analysis of the ONS crime survey for England and Wales (published November 2018); and the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE) 2 (wave 3 published June 2018).