A quarter of pupils face prejudice-based bullying

By Lindsay Duncan

A report published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has shown the level of prejudice-based bullying in Scottish secondary schools. The research, conducted by LGBT Youth Scotland and respectme, spoke to 1,250 pupils and 330 teachers throughout Scotland.

The research uncovered that one in four pupils were aware of prejudiced-based bullying taking place in their school, with the most common forms of bullying focusing on race, disability, sexual orientation and perceived socio-economic status. It was also found that over half of those experiencing the bullying had reported it to the school.

Alistair Pringle, Director of the EHRC in Scotland said:

“Bullying is much more complex than playground name-calling. Most strikingly our research measured the experience gaps between pupils who had been bullied and those who hadn’t. Pupils who had been bullied were 20% less likely to report feeling safe at school, or that they felt supported, respected, included or simply happy. We know that if left unchallenged these experiences can lead to poor attendance and attainment and physical and mental health problems.”

Research was also conducted into which local authorities have policies set in place to deal with cases of prejudice-based bullying. The results discovered that while 26 local authorities recorded each incident of bullying, only 14 had evidence that they were monitoring the situation.

A number of recommendations concluded the report to improve Scottish schools’ approach to prejudice-based bullying; schools are now recommended to improve their monitoring of bullying within their schools and have a statement making it clear that they do not tolerate bullying.

Read the report in full here.