I have posted a brief summary of the results of a survey carried out earlier this year - I will be posting a lengthier blog in the not too distant future discussing the findings in greater depth but for now at least - here is a quick snapshot of what children and young people told us
The primary aim of this piece of research was to obtain a picture of how children and young people are experiencing bullying in Scotland in 2014.
This research was designed to:
· Identify the types of bullying that is experienced by children and young people.
· Give a clear picture of where bullying happens and where online and offline/face to face experiences differ or crossover.
· Identify from children and young people’s own experience what they feel works and what is less helpful.
· Identify where children and young people go online and what technology they use to get there.
An online questionnaire was designed and tested and distributed to all schools in Scotland in May and June 2014. In total, there were 8310 responses, of which 7839 were useable. Responses came from all over Scotland with all 32 Local Authorities represented. Respondents were aged between 8 and 19 years old. Sixty five per cent were 12 - 14 years old.
This was an open survey and the findings presented here represent only the views of the children who took part.
Three focus groups took place with 45 young people to get a more detailed insight into children and young people’s experiences of bullying – in particular, their thoughts on what happens online and in person, where these two are different and where they crossover.
The key findings from the survey are as follows:
- 30% of children and young people surveyed reported that they have experienced some sort of bullying behaviour between the start of school in August 2013 and June 2014. Of this 30%:
§ 49% experienced bullying in person
§ 41% experienced bullying both in person and online
§ 10% experienced bullying online only.
- A number of children and young people had more than one experience of bullying. Children and young people surveyed reflected 12,003 experiences of bullying behaviours. Of these experiences: -
§ 60% took place in person
§ 21% took place both in person and online
§ 19% took place online only
- 92% of children and young people who were bullied knew the person bullying them (91% online and 92% offline). Anonymity therefore may not be what is driving bullying online.
· Behaviours such as name calling, hurtful comments and spreading rumours that make people feel angry, sad and upset happen both face to face and online.
· Children and Young people employ a range of strategies to cope with bullying; some are more successful than others.
§ Almost half (48%) of children and young people who are bullied tell their parents.
§ Friends and teachers are also providing support to a high number of children and young people who are bullied.
· The most successful anti-bullying interventions are embedded within a positive ethos and culture and don’t just focus on individual incidents.
- Children and young people’s use of technology, especially mobile technology and social media, is woven into their everyday lives.
- The majority of children and young people (81%) consider their online friends to be all or mostly the same friends they have in real life
- Children and young people access internet content on mobile devices, such as phones and tablets, more than other devices such as PC’s or laptops.
- Google, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook are the most popular websites and Apps used by children and young people when they go online.
We will further analyse the data we have collected and use it to help develop effective policy and practice around bullying. The data is likely to help us to address some questions more effectively including: -
· Given the relatively low proportion of exclusively online bullying, and the similarity of online and offline bullying behaviour, to what extent is a specific response to online bullying needed?
· What are the appropriate responses to gender specific differences in experiences of bullying?
· How can we help schools to further develop an anti-bullying ethos? And how can we continue to ensure children and young people are involved and included in this process?
· How can we continue to support parents to respond when their children tell them about being bullied?
· How can schools further help children and young people learn from other pupils about the strategies that they have found useful?