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Nearly six children are bullied in Brighton and Hove schools every day
Nearly six pupils are bullied every school day in Brighton and Hove, The Argus can reveal.
In the last academic year 1,087 instances of bullying at schools in the city – an average of 5.7 every day at school – were reported to Brighton and Hove City Council.
Almost a fifth of incidents were racially motivated, with 118 incidents being reported in primary schools and 96 in secondary schools between September 2012 and September 2013.
The new figures come as a national bullying charity applauds the Brighton and Hove City Council’s efforts to combat the problem.
The detailed results, released following a Freedom of Information request, are available because of a new council initiative to record the type of bullying to tracktrends and measure the impact of prevention work.
Results from a council-run investigation into bullying at the city’s schools are due to be revealed in April.
Primary schools reported youngsters are being hounded because of their religion (13 times), due to disabilities/medical reasons (13 times), sex (nine times), appearance (37 times), home circumstances (nine times) gender identity (16 times) and sexual orientation (71 times).
Bullying which did not fall into one of these categories was recorded as ‘other’.
Secondary school children were far more likely to be picked on for their appearance and medical reasons than younger children, the figures revealed.
Secondary school children were bullied because of their religion (ten times), due to disabilities/medical reasons (75 times), sex (11 times), appearance (101 times), home circumstance(four times) gender identity (27 times) and sexual orientation (41 times).
There were very few reports of bullying from special schools and none from nurseries.
A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said: “Bullying is first and foremost an issue for individual schools, but we offer schools excellent support in dealing with it.
“It’s a national issue and we have no reason to believe that the situation with bullying here is any better or worse than elsewhere.
“Our local survey data shows a downward trend in children and young people anonymously reporting that they have been bullied.
“We take bullying in schools so seriously that we set up a scrutiny panel to look into whether more could be done by the council to help tackle it.
“This panel is due to give its recommendations to our children and young people committee in April.
“We encourage schools to report bullying by type in order to support schools to effectively record and monitor different types of bullying in their setting.
“The data collected is used to monitor types of bullyig and to compare to anonymously reported survey data in order to track trends and measure the impact of work being done to prevent
A spokesperson from bullying prevention charity BeatBullying said: “We welcome Brighton and Hove City Council's efforts to take this issue seriously.
“BeatBullying has highlighted the need for better local reporting and transparency in order to properly tackle bullying in schools and the ongoing training and support provided by the council will only serve to improve this reporting over time.
“However, schools cannot be expected to tackle bullying in isolation. We've been contacted by young people who have been bullied everywhere from the street, to on the bus, to online.”
Jeremy Todd, bullying advice charity Bullying UK’s chief executive, added: “Of the families that contact us, bullying in schools remains consistently at around 85%.
“And that is why schools must have robust anti-bullying procedures in place to ensure that existing and future generations do not experience bullying which can affect their emotional wellbeing, academic achievement and theirability to form positive relationshipswith their peers.”