Hundreds of children report bullying at Tayside schools, figures reveal

Bullying remains a concern at schools in Angus, Dundee and Perth and Kinross as figures reveal almost 500 incidents were recorded last year.

There were a total of 479 cases of bullying across the three local authority areas during the 2019/20 school year, according to freedom of information data.

Only incidents reported before the end of March are included as schools closed early because of Covid-19.

A spate of high-profile cases have brought the issue to the forefront in the last year, leading to calls for schools to take tougher action against bullies.

Parents were shocked in January after a teenage girl was filmed being dragged across the corridor by her hair at Carnoustie High School.

Schools in Perth and Kinross had 221 incidents with the majority of cases relating to secondary school pupils.

Perth High School recorded the highest number of reported offences with 65, an increase of eight from 2018/19.

This was followed by Crieff High School where there were 64 incidents.

While figures remain high, Kinross High School has seen a reduction in bullying claims as figures drop to 32, compared to 69 from the previous year.

LONG READ: Anti-Bullying Week – how Angus youngsters help other schools tackle bullying

Bullying claims have fallen at Dundee schools in the past year with 148 cases, down from 186 in 2018/19.

However more pupils are reporting bullying at city high schools as cases increased at Baldragon Academy with 26, while Craigie High School had 32 and Harris Academy, 25.

Morgan Academy had 10 less claims in 2019/20 with 13, St John’s had six and Braeview, five.

Reported cases at Clepington Primary School reached 19, a fall from 35  in 2018/19 and 49 in 2017/18.

“No pupil should feel too worried to come forward.”

Councillor Stewart Hunter.

Angus schools recorded a combined total of 110 reports of bullying last year, an increase from 2018.

Arbroath Academy saw the biggest rise in claims with 30 in the last school year, an increase of 18, while Arbroath High School did not have any recorded incidents.

Forfar Academy had 11 reports, Carnoustie High had eight, Webster’s High, nine and Montrose Academy, three.

There were also worrying figures from Angus primary schools as Inverbrothock and Northmuir Primary School both received 15 complaints, an increase from 10 and six respectively.

Allegations treated ‘seriously’

Angus Council said all bullying allegations are taken seriously. A spokesperson said: “We advise our young people to report any incidents immediately to staff so they can be investigated and addressed promptly and effectively.

“No school is immune to issues of bullying and none of our schools are complacent in this regard. All of our schools are required to involve and consult the school community in order to devise, publicise and implement a school anti-bullying policy.”

Dundee City Council’s children and families convener Stewart Hunter encouraged pupils to come forward with any fears.

Children and families convener Stewart Hunter.

“Our schools always take appropriate action in responses to bullying incidents and any allegations are dealt with extremely seriously,” he said.

He added: “Pupils are always encouraged to report bullying and to raise any situations that they are facing.

“No pupil should feel too worried to come forward. We can only deal with problems that we know about.”

Perth and Kinross Council said schools are actively working to reduce concerns and an anti-bullying strategy is in place.

Figures were not available for Fife schools.

Perth & Kinross – The Courier