Thousands of desperate parents are removing their children from school midway through the academic year because of bullying. Shocking figures reveal almost 1,300 families who applied to transfer their children to a new school last year cited bullying as the main reason. The Daily Mail reports.
The startling statistic comes from 16 of England’s 152 local education authorities (LEAs).
If the figures were replicated across the country, it would mean more than 12,000 children a year are seeking to switch school as a result of classroom thugs.
Campaigners last night described the scale of the problem as ‘staggering’ and urged education watchdog Ofsted to investigate. And experts said the rise of cyber-bullying meant many victims were unable to escape their tormentors, even at home.
Lauren Seager-Smith, of the Kidscape charity, said: ‘If a child is having to change school mid-term because of bullying, we should be alerting Ofsted. “
The figures emerged from replies by LEAs to a Freedom of Information request to provide a breakdown of the reasons given by parents for wanting to move their child during the school year.
Most councils do not collect such information, but among the 16 councils that do, 1,278 families listed bullying as the reason.
Martha Evans, of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, said: ‘Local authorities should use the information so that schools where bullying takes place are aware that it is forcing families to take drastic measures.’
Ofsted said: ‘Our inspectors always check a school’s records of bullying incidents and talk to pupils about how safe they feel.’
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