A survey of nearly 30,000 pupils in England conducted by the Anti-Bullying Alliance revealed that almost one in four children from infant to secondary school age (24%) were being bullied face-to-face.

The number was even higher, at 31%, for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) or those who receive free school meals (30%).

Six percent of participants reported being bullied frequently online, while children with SEND and those with free school meals were again more likely to experience it. 

The findings were published today as three-quarters of UK schools celebrate Anti-bullying Week. The campaign has the theme of Reach Out which urges children across the country to reach out to friends and trusted adults if bullying is taking place.

The study also found that both the victims of bullying and the children who bully others have a bad school experience; disliking going to school, feeling less safe, and having weaker relationships with their teachers.

The research emphasises the long term effects of being bullied, with pupils that frequently experience bullying having a worse wellbeing than those who don’t report it at all.

Interestingly, it is the children who bully others who have a poorer wellbeing overall, whether they bullied online or face-to-face.

Martha Evans, Director of the Anti-Bullying Alliance said: “Children and young people need to know there is help out there if they are being bullied or are witnessing bullying. It starts by reaching out to someone you trust if you need to talk. 

“Reaching out to someone you know is being bullied. Reaching out to consider a new approach.

“And it doesn’t stop with young people. From teachers, to parents and influencers, to politicians, we all have a responsibility to help each other reach out.”

Anti-Bullying Week starts today, taking place from the 14 to 18 November. 

The week kicks off with Odd Socks Day, where adults and children wear odd socks to celebrate what makes us all unique.

Anti-bullying Week starts today with Odd Socks Day

You can get involved via #AntiBullyingWeek and #ReachOut on social media.

For advice and support about bullying click here.