One in four children on the Isle of Wight does not feel safe at school — with the council saying more can always be done to help stop bullying.
In a children and young people’s health and wellbeing survey conducted last year, pupils in Years 6, 8 and 10 were asked to answer questions about their behaviour relating to topics such as eating, drinking, safety and alcohol.
Only 72 per cent felt safe
The findings have since helped the Isle of Wight Council provide support to those facing challenges and understanding how issues are changing over time.
Nearly 1,100 school pupils completed the survey, found only 72 per cent felt they were safe in school.
74 per cent happy or very happy with their life
Other results from the survey found 91 per cent of participants said they felt safe at home, the number of young people who felt safe in their community had decreased from 52 per cent in 2017 to 47 in the latest survey, and 74 per cent said they were happy or very happy with their life at the moment.
Crocker: Always more we can do and always more we want to do
Steve Crocker, director of children’s services, said the number did not surprise him but was arguably rather lower than in other places and if you were to ask a group of school children what the biggest issue is for them, almost every time their top answer would be bullying.
“Every school has to have an anti-bullying strategy … there is always more we can do and always more we want to do.
“It is a massive issue for children across the country, no less on the Isle of Wight and it would be worth spending some time exploring what we do in schools around bullying but so much of that is around online bullying.
“Children have got devices, and the bullying is not necessarily face-to-face these days. It is electronically, on social media and that is why children don’t feel safe.”
Churchman: Unease caused by fear of peers
Chair of the committee, Cllr Vanessa Churchman, agreed with Mr Crocker, saying the unease was caused by a fear of their peers.
She agreed to discuss the matter at a later meeting.
An increasing number of young people, 28 per cent, scored medium to low on self-esteem, compared to 21.5 per cent nationally.
A lower number, 61 per cent, felt their opinions made a difference at school (72 per cent in 2017) or at home (58 per cent down from 67 in 2017).
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some alterations and additions may be been made by OnTheWight. Ed