Almost half of children worry about returning to school due to bullying

Half of children worry about bullying, a poll found (Danny Lawson/PA) Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Almost half of children have been worried about returning to school after the holidays because of bullying, according to a poll.

It suggests youngsters feel that being the victim of bullying has an impact on their academic life – affecting their grades, attendance and whether they put their hand up in class.

The survey, published by the Diana Award, comes as children across the country head back to school for the start of the new academic year.

The poll, which questioned 1,003 secondary-age children, found that three fifths (60%) said they have been bullied at school at some point.

Of all of the youngsters questioned, 46% said they have worried about going back to school after a holiday or half term because of bullying.

The Duke of Cambridge holds a cardboard hand with the names he wrote down five people he would turn to in the event of bullying, to support the Diana Award in 2015. Credit: PA

Of the children who had been bullied, 40% said it was because of their academic ability.

Just over half (51%) said it made them less likely to put their hand up in class.

The Diana Award has launched a celebrity-backed #Back2School campaign to highlight the issue of bullying.

Alex Holmes, deputy CEO of The Diana Award, says: "Young people spend 11,000 hours of their lives in full education.

"School should be safe and free from bullying.

"We’re urging everyone to get behind our campaign by helping us to train Anti-Bullying Ambassadors in every schools."

A man looks upset as he looks at a laptop computer. Credit: PA

Nick Gibb, minister for schools standards, said: "No child should worry about returning to school out of fear of being bullied.

"Since this government came into office, improving pupil behaviour has been a key part of our education reforms.

"Schools are required by law to have a behaviour policy in place to prevent all forms of bullying and from next year they will have new guidance on how to teach Relationships Education to their pupils, which includes teaching pupils about respect, tolerance and addresses issues such as online safety.‎"

The Survation poll questioned 1,003 UK children aged 11-16 between August 7-13.