England’s worst areas for school bullying have been revealed in new research that has explored the number of exclusions across the country and it shows Swindon schools are the best in the South West of England at tackling bullying.
Using the latest Department for Education data, Oxford Home Schooling identified the regions which have experienced the biggest increases and decreases in bullying exclusions between 2011/12 and 2016/17.
The East of England is by far the biggest bullying hotspot, with the area seeing a 16% increase in the number of fixed-term and permanent exclusions for this reason over the five years. This is over five times the percentage increase of any other English region, with the North East coming second with a rise of 3%.
More specifically, eleven local authorities saw their figures more than double in this time. Staggeringly, exclusions in Wolverhampton nearly quintupled, with a massive 386% increase, while schools in Hartlepool witnessed a 233% jump.
However, across the country, the situation looks less bleak, with the national average of exclusions for bullying dropping by 5.6% over the time period. In 2016/17, there were 4,275 such exclusions in English schools, or 82 a week – fewer than in 2011/12, when there were 4,530 cases recorded (87 a week).
Schools in the West Midlands are the best performing in this regard, with the area experiencing 20% fewer bullying exclusions in 2016/17 than five years previously.
The English regions which saw the biggest increases and decreases in the number of school exclusions for bullying are:
1) East of England – 16% increase
2) North East – 3% increase
3) East Midlands – 1% increase
4) Inner London – 1% increase
5) South West – 0% change
6) Outer London – 1% decrease
7) Yorkshire and Humber – 3% decrease
8) North West – 14% decrease
9) South East – 17% decrease
10) West Midlands – 20% decrease
Dr Nick Smith, principal at Oxford Home Schooling, said: “The sad truth is that bullying is rife across English schools – in fact, our previous research revealed that more than three in five Brits were bullied at least once while in education.
“However, it is encouraging to see that in many areas the numbers of exclusions for bullying are decreasing. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that bullying is becoming less of an issue, it might suggest that schools are taking measures to deal with the problem, rather than just removing the children involved.
“Anecdotally, nearly half of the parents who enrol their children with Oxford Home Schooling list bullying amongst their reasons for doing so. If your child is being bullied at school, then home education is a viable solution.”
To see which local authorities in each region are seeing the biggest increases and decreases in bullying exclusions, visit: https://www.oxfordhomeschooling.co.uk/blog/school-bullying-by-local-authority/