A quarter of children are bullied frequently as anti-bullying campaigners call on adults to set a better example.
- Open letter calls on adults and those in the public eye to be role models of respectful behaviour
- Children urged to ‘Reach Out’ to trusted friends and adults if bullying occurs
- Anti-Bullying Week celebrated in three-quarters of UK schools from 14 to 18 November.
- Anti-Bullying Week is coordinated in England by the Anti-Bullying Alliance.
- In Northern Ireland, Anti-Bullying Week is coordinated by NCB's Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum
In a survey of nearly 30,000 pupils in England conducted by the Anti-Bullying Alliance and analysed by Goldsmiths, University of London, almost 1 in 4 children (24%) told researchers they were being frequently bullied face-to-face, with the situation even worse for those with SEND (31%) or those in receipt of free school meals (30%). 6% report being bullied frequently online with children with SEND and in receipt of free school meals again more likely to experience it.
The findings are published as three-quarters of schools in the UK celebrate Anti-Bullying Week reaching over 7 million children and young people. The campaign urges children across the country to reach out to friends and trusted adults if bullying is taking place.
The research finds that both those being bullied and the children who bully others have a bad experience of school life, disliking going to school, feeling less safe and having poorer relationships with their teachers.
The research underlines the lasting effects of being bullied, with children frequently on the receiving end having significantly poorer wellbeing than those who do not report being bullied at all. Interestingly, those who frequently bully others have the poorest wellbeing whether they bullied online or face-to-face.
Anti-Bullying Week takes place from the 14 to 18 November and has the theme Reach Out. The week will kick off with Odd Socks Day on Monday 14th November, where adults and children wear odd socks to celebrate what makes us all unique.
This research is released along with an open letter from the Anti-Bullying Alliance consortium of over 200 organisations calling on all adults to consider the example they are setting to children and young people about how we treat each other.
Whilst there are many examples of kindness and respect that we can share with young people to showcase how we should treat each other, far too often children see negative discord amongst adults that influences their behaviour. We believe it imperative we consider the impact our words and actions have on the children and young people who are learning from us.
The campaign is supported by many celebrities and influencers, including Anti-Bullying Alliance patron and children’s television star Andy Day who with his band Andy and the Odd Socks is releasing the single ‘Calling Out’, bringing alive playgrounds, classrooms and assemblies across the UK.
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.
Martha Evans - Director of the Anti-Bullying Alliance
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.
“That is why members of the Anti-Bullying Alliance have written an open letter calling on adults to consider the example they are setting to young people about how we treat each other.
“Whether it is during a Twitter spat, arguments in parliament, a relationship breakdown on the latest reality TV show, or a row on the street; children are too often watching, they are listening, and they are learning from us.”
We are over the moon to be working with the Anti-Bullying Alliance again on such an incredibly important issue. Encouraging acceptance of individuality at an early age can help prevent bullying later in life.
Andy Day - children's TV star
Andy Day, patron of the Anti-Bullying Alliance and CBeebies presenter said of Odd Socks Day:
“We are over the moon to be working with the Anti Bullying Alliance again on such an incredibly important issue. Encouraging acceptance of individuality at an early age can help prevent bullying later in life and raising awareness on the issue of bullying is very important to us. Odd Socks Day is a fun day where we can do all of this! We would LOVE for your school to get on board!”