School bullying report reveals alarming extent of suffering

Survey reveals alarming extent of bullying in Moray schools
Survey reveals alarming extent of bullying in Moray schools

MORAY COUNCIL RECEIVED its largest ever response to a survey on school bullying – resulting in an acknowledgment that the local authority faced a difficult job in tackling the issue.

Over 2000 responses were received to an online questionnaire launched last summer – and from that more than 630 were from children who said that they had experienced bullying in school.

Around a quarter of those who said they had been bullied in the anonymous poll said that the bullying took the form of face-to-face and online harassment – while 70% said that their bullying experiences happened only face-to-face.

In total, the survey revealed that 918 schoolchildren – almost half of those who responded – said that they had been subjected to bullying at some point with the most common forms being verbally abused or being made the subject of malicious rumours and being threatened.

Just 38% said that bullying stopped when they told someone about it with 34% saying it continued and 14% reporting that it had actually made matters worse.

A report on Wednesday to the children and young people’s services committee sought to find a unified approach over all Moray schools on how bullying is dealt with. Laurence Findlay, the director of education and social care, said: “This remains a high profile of concern for everyone and one that I know all of our schools aim to keep at the forefront of their work.”

Councillors were told that the report will now be taken forward to inform the next stage of the consultation involving focus groups who will look at putting preventative measures in place including what interventions would be effective in response to bullying complaints.