Disabled children ‘more likely to be bullied’

The BBC is reporting research that suggests primary school pupils in England with special educational needs are twice as likely as other children to endure persistent bullying…

The study found 12% of seven-year-olds with special needs felt bullied all the time, compared with 6% of non-disabled peers.

It says these children have the “double disadvantage” of disability and of bullying during critical life periods.

The research was carried out by London University’s Institute of Education.

The IoE researchers analysed data relating to bullying from two national cohort studies:

  • the Millennium Cohort Study, which is tracking the lives of 19,000 UK children born between 2000 and 2001
  • Next Steps, formally known as the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England, which tracks 16,000 people born in England in 1989 and 1990

They found there was “substantially higher risks of being bullied ‘all the time’ for disabled children compared to non-disabled children”.

The study found that even when other factors that can lead to bullying – such as cognitive ability, age within the school year, socio-economic background – were taken into account, disabled children were still at a higher risk of being bullied.

The bullying could take the form of physical abuse, such as hitting or shoving, as well as “relational” bullying, such as name-calling or being excluded…

The study said disabled youngsters had been “largely neglected” in research assessing the impact of bullying…

More at: Disabled children ‘more likely to be bullied’

What a depressing finding. Why is this the case, do you think? Is it a universal phenomenon to pick of those who are apparently weaker or different? Any insights into how it can be stopped most effectively? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…

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