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Bullying and violence in English schools plummets

A new government study has reported that 30,000 fewer children in England are being bullied compared to figures obtained in 2005. Robbery between pupils has also halved with only 1 per cent of children reporting they had been robbed last year.

These positive results have been attributed to a range of tough new powers introduced since 2010 which have enabled heads and teachers to take firmer control over their classrooms. These include:

  • -Stronger powers to search pupils
  • -Removing the requirement to give parents 24 hours’ written notice of after-school detentions
  • -Clarifying teachers’ power to use reasonable force to control unruly pupils.

Modern day bullying isn’t just confined to the classroom and playground however. Teachers have also been granted greater powers to tackle cyber bullying by searching for and deleting inappropriate images on mobile phones and tablets. In addition, £3.3 million is being made available this year to charitable organisations to help tackle bullying and provide support for those who are bullied. This is on top of the £4 million provided in 2013 to 2015.

Speaking before the launch of Anti-Bullying Week, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan hailed the new figures, suggesting that getting tough on discipline, creating a climate of tolerance and supporting bullied children can change lives for the better. She said:

"As part of our commitment to delivering social justice we are helping teachers and charities end the scourge of bullying in our schools. We are determined to tackle any barriers which stop pupils attending school and learning so they can fulfil their potential."

2014 report by Stonewall 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 has announced a £2 million fund for projects to address homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools .

View the BBC’s report.

Page Published: 30/11/2015