Disability doubles chance of bullying for children


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The Independent Online

Children with special education needs are twice as likely to suffer from persistent  bullying, according to new research into primary schools published today.

A study published by London University’s Institute of Education shows 12 per cent of seven-year-olds with special educational needs claimed they were being bullied “all of the time” – compared to six per cent of their non-disabled peers. In addition, 15-year-olds with special educational needs were more likely to be victims of threats or acts of physical violence. They were also more likely to be excluded by groups of schoolmates or victims of name-calling.

Philippa Stobbs, of the Council for Disabled Children, said of the report: “We know that bullying remains the single biggest concern raised by children with special educational needs and disabilities.

“The fact that this continues to be so is unacceptable. This is the first time we’re able to demonstrate with absolute certainty just how pervasive this problem is for disabled children and young people across the country.””

Researchers for the Institute of Education examined the extent of bullying faced by 19,000 children born in the late 1990s and early 2000s to complete their study. This is the first time they have been able to single out the effects of disability on bullying – rather than study a broader group of bullying risk factors.