England’s best local authorities for tackling school bullying have been revealed in new research that has explored the number of exclusions across the country
Using the latest Department for Education data, Oxford Home Schooling identified the regions which have experienced the biggest increases and decreases in bullying exclusions between 2016/17 and 2017/18.
The East of England is the best region for reducing bullying, with the area seeing a 29% decrease in the number of fixed-term and permanent exclusions for this reason over the time period. This is a significantly better rate than any other English region, with the East Midlands and the South East of England coming equal second with decreases of 20%.
Across the country, the national average number of exclusions for bullying dropped by 14% between the two school years. In 2017/18, there were 3,660 such exclusions in English schools, or 70 a week – fewer than in 2016/17, when there were 4,275 cases recorded (82 a week).
Specifically, the best local authority at tackling bullying was Bracknell Forest in Berkshire. The area completely eradicated exclusions for bullying, reporting a 100% decrease. They were followed by Salford (82% decrease) and the Isle of Wight (80% decrease).
Yorkshire and the Humber was the only English region where the number of bullying exclusions rose between the two years (2% increase). Wakefield was the worst performing authority in the region, with an 83% rise.
However, this is substantially lower than the worst-performing local authorities in the country, with five areas seeing their figures more than double in this time. Staggeringly, exclusions in Warrington more than quadrupled, with a massive 333% increase, while schools in Thurrock witnessed a 267% jump.
The English regions which saw the biggest decreases in the number of school exclusions for bullying are:
1) East of England – 29% decrease
2) East Midlands – 20% decrease
= South East – 20% decrease
4) Outer London – 19% decrease
5) Inner London – 14% decrease
6) South West – 11% decrease
7) West Midlands – 10% decrease
8) North West – 7% decrease
9) North East – 6% decrease
10) Yorkshire and the Humber – 2% increase
Dr Nick Smith, principal at Oxford Home Schooling, said: “It is encouraging to see that in many areas the numbers of exclusions for bullying are decreasing. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that bullying is becoming less of an issue, it might suggest that schools are taking measures to deal with the problem, rather than just removing the children involved.
“Anecdotally, nearly half of the parents who enrol their children with Oxford Home Schooling list bullying amongst their reasons for doing so. If your child is being bullied at school, then home education is a viable solution.”