These research briefs examines the prevalence and nature of bullying. It is based on data from the second Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE2). LSYPE2 is a large study of young people, managed by the Department for Education (DfE). It is also known as the ‘Our Future’ study.
In 2015, LSYPE2 interviewed 10,010 young people in year 11. This was an important year for these young people, with the vast majority sitting their GCSEs. They answered questions about bullying and the answers are compared with the answers they gave the previous year when they were in year 10 and when they were in year 9. Their responses are also compared with LSYPE1 which was conducted in 2006. In this article we have tried to summarise both the reports from Year 11, Year 10 and Year 9. Follow the links below.
- 30% of Year 11s reported they have been bullied in the last 12 months
- The only reported on the frequency being at least once in the last 12 months and didn't report on more frequent bullying
- The most common form of bullying was name calling with 15% saying they'd experienced it in the last 12 months
- This was followed by social exclusion at 14% in the last 12 months
- Just under 10% said they had been cyberbullied in the last 12 months
- 10% said they had experienced threats of violence and 6% said they had experienced actual physical violence
In this edition we had comparisons between bullying levels and GCSE results. The findings were consistent with the idea that bullying and lower attainment are interrelated. The difference was equivalent to two grades in one GCSE qualification
Truancy and bullying
- Bullied children were twice as likely to truant than those who hadn't been bullied (24% compared to 12%). Of the young people who truanted, 4% said it was due to bullying
- Disabled young people were more likely to report being bullied than all young people: 36% report experiencing at least one form of bullying, compared to 29%. The figures were the same for young people with SEN.
- There was a small but significant difference in level of reported bullying when comparing pupils who had received free school meals (33%) and those who had not (30%).
- Levels of reported bullying were higher (32%) for students who had no religion compared to those with a religion. Christian (30%), other religion (25%) and Muslim (18%). For those who were religious, if their religion was very important to them, they were less likely to have experienced bullying (32% compared to 19% in the last 12 months).
- Young people from African (18% bullied in the last 12 months), Pakistani (16%), Bangladeshi (17%), Indian (20%) and other Asian backgrounds (21%) were significantly less likely to report being bullied than white and mixed ethnicity students.
- When asked why students were bullied 22% of students said due to their looks (this was higher for girls), 3% said disability, 2% said gender, 4% said for being gay or bisexual, 2% said religion, 3% said race or ethnicity and 3% said skin colour. However, a large proportion – over 50% – of respondents said that none of the reasons offered in the questionnaire were why they were bullied. They were not asked to specify any other reasons they felt were more applicable
- Parents were asked if their child had been bullied in the previous 12 months. For young people that reported being bullied, the majority of parents were unaware
- 47% of Year 10s reported they have been bullied in the last 12 months
- 6% reported experiencing bullying each day
- 7% reported being bullied between once a week to once a month
- The most common form of bullying was name calling with 1 in five (22%) saying they'd experienced it in the last 12 months
- This was followed by social exclusion at 15% in the last 12 months
- 11% said they had been cyberbullied in the last 12 months
- 14% said they had experienced threats of violence and 12% said they had experienced actual physical violence
Truancy and bullying
- 59% of young people who had truanted said they had been bullied, compared with 34% of those who hadn’t truanted
- When asked why students were bullied 29% of students said due to their looks (this was higher for girls), 3% said disability, 3% said for being gay or bisexual, 3% said race or ethnicity and 3% said skin colour
- Overall, a higher proportion of females reported bullying than males (42% and 33% respectively). If we look at each type of bullying separately, we can see that this is true for name calling, cyberbullying and social exclusion. However, a higher proportion of males reported threats of and actual violence than females
- A higher proportion of young people of white and mixed ethnicities, and a lower proportion of Bangladeshi young people report bullying
- 46% of students with SEN reported bullying in the last 12 months compared with 36% without SEN
- Levels of reported bullying increased for students who had no religion (40% with no religion compared to 36% with religion)
- The South West (42% in the last year) is the region with the highest proportion of young people reporting bullying, followed by the East Midlands (47%). London is the area with the lowest proportion of young people report bullying (32%).
- 40% of Year 9s reported they have been bullied in the last 12 months
- 8% reported being bullied each day
- 9% reported being bullied between once a week to once a month
- Most common form of bullying was name calling (both online and face to face) with 26%
- Second most common form of bullying was social exclusion at 18% in the last 12 months
- This collection did not include specific question about cyberbullying
- 16% of young people experienced threats of violence within the last 12 months and 13% had experienced actual violence in the last 12 months
- Of the young people who had experienced name calling (including by text message and email), 62% of their parents were aware of it, 26% of parents of young people who had been excluded from social groups were aware of it, 30% knew threats of violence had occurred, 30% were aware of actual violence and only 10% of parents were aware of robbery
- Girls were more likely to experience name calling and social exclusion
- Boys were more likely to experience threat of and actual physical violence
- Children with SEN were significantly more likely to experience all forms of bullying. This was especailly the case for physical violence (both threats and actual violence)
Time at school
Young people who were regularly bullied were more likely to misbehave, more likely to truant or miss school and more likely to be excluded.