British teenagers more competitive than peers but more likely to be bullied.

The Guardian reports that British teenagers are highly motivated about their school work, but are more anxious, more likely to be bullied and are less satisfied with life than many of their peers elsewhere in the world, according to a survey.

Almost a quarter of British pupils who took part in the poll say they are being bullied a few times a month, while more than 14% say they are bullied frequently, making the UK the fourth worst affected of all 34 countries surveyed. Three in 10 UK pupils from less privileged backgrounds said they had been bullied. 

UK students are also among the highest users of the internet, with one in four 15-year-olds admitting to spending six hours online outside school hours on a typical weekday – the second highest of any country, and far higher than previous studies have suggested, prompting experts to call on the government to look at possible links between internet use and wellbeing.

The global survey of half a million 15-year-olds, carried out by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), will add to growing concern about the mental health and wellbeing of young people in the UK.

The report also shows that despite reported links between eating a good breakfast and improved attainment, almost 30% of 15-year-olds in the UK do not eat breakfast before school – with the figure rising to more than 35% for the most disadvantaged pupils.

Natalie Perera, executive director and head of research at the Education Policy Institute (EPI), which hosted the launch of the report said

“Disadvantaged pupils are more likely to be bullied than their peers, and are more likely to skip breakfast before school – with the gap between the proportion of advantaged and disadvantaged pupils in the UK doing so the second biggest out of all 34 countries.”

Read more British teenagers more competitive than peers but more likely to be bullied. 

Are our teenagers really as unhappy as this interesting read makes out? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter ~ Tamsin

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