Children moving to secondary school fear ‘big school’ bullies

A new survey suggests the majority of primary pupils are worried about bullying when they start secondary school. This is from Parentdish

The majority of primary school pupils are worried about being bullied when they start secondary school, and 52% think there is more bullying in secondary school than in primary school. That’s according to a new survey released today by Parentdish and BeatBullying, the leading anti-bullying charity.

As schools around the country re-open, BeatBullying and Parentdish spoke to over 800 children aged 8-15, and found that other common concerns about starting a new school include keeping up with homework, finding their way around school, and making new friends.

BeatBullying and Parentdish have teamed up to produce an online Back to School guide for parents, with practical advice on how to spot the signs if your child is being bullied, and what steps you can take to tackle the problem.

Fifty-eight percent of primary school pupils were worried about being bullied when they start secondary school.

Top anxieties are being bullied for being too clever or not clever enough (56%), followed by not being good at activities like sports (48%), or not having the latest phone or games console (48%).

This contrasts with their experience at primary school, where the main reason that young people were bullied was because they were good at something such as playing a music instrument (43%).

Secondary school pupils felt that there was a lot more bullying at secondary school than primary with the main reason cited for bullying being either too clever or not clever enough (69%), their tastes in music or TV (49%), or for not being good at activities such as sports (44%).

Worrying about fitting in is also a common concern, with over half (53%) of secondary school pupils admitting to lying to make themselves look better to their peers, most commonly about what they do at the weekend (64%).

…Emma-Jane Cross, CEO and founder of BeatBullying, says: “Many children are worried about moving from primary to secondary school. It’s a hugely exciting time – with a new school, new teachers and new classmates, but it can also be very scary. Young people have told us that having a ‘buddy’ or ‘peer mentor’ makes them feel safer and happier about going to secondary school.”

“If your child’s school doesn’t offer this kind programme, perhaps you know someone else with children at the secondary school? Ask them if they would mind looking out for your child in their first couple of weeks – just to help them settle in.

More at:  Children moving to secondary school fear ‘big school’ bullies

Are you surprised by these findings? Does your/your child’s school operate a ‘buddy’ or ‘peer mentor’ scheme as described by @BeatBullying and if so, how successful do you think it is? If not, what are the reasons given for not introducing it? Please share in the comments or on twitter… 

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Categories: Primary and Secondary.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Of course they are, and those fears haven’t changed in decades. Sec schls will do their best to make the transition smooth.

  2. worthybobs

    SchoolsImprove BeatBullying One of mine though high school was like the American ones on tv. Didn’t really have a picture of a regular one

  3. SchoolsImprove

    worthybobs BeatBullying Interesting and maybe more could be done to make expectations more realistic around transition?

  4. worthybobs

    SchoolsImprove BeatBullying Her “info” was all tv based & envisioned high school corridors like glee with bullies (18yo) throwing slushies

  5. worthybobs

    SchoolsImprove BeatBullying We had a chat and she had school visits open days etc. so we cleared it all up but tv plays a huge part

  6. LaCatholicState

    children worried about being bullied…..should be sent by their parents to a Church school. Much less bullying.

  7. WS_GA

    SchoolsImprove Just imagine how children attending one of these all through free schools must feel! 4 years and 18 yrs in same school?

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