Research shows impact of bullying on grades


Students who have been bullied are more likely to get grades of D or below than those who haven’t, research has found.

The Annual Bullying Survey, conducted by anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label, involved 3,600 students aged 13 to 18.

Overall, it finds that 45 per cent of the respondents had experienced bullying, with their personal appearance being the most common reason for the victimisation.

Almost two-thirds had been physically attacked, with 30 per cent admitting that they went on to self-harm as a result. One in 10 of the bullying victims said they had attempted suicide.

The research also revealed a negative impact of bullying on exam performance.

Forty-one per cent of those who had never been bullied achieved A or A* grades in English compared to 30 per cent of students who had been victims in the past and 26 per cent of those who were still being bullied at the time of their exams. There were similar trends for science and maths.

At the same time, those who have been bullied are more likely to get grades of D and below. In mathematics, 15 per cent of non-bullied students scored a D or lower, compared to 19 per cent of previously bullied children, and 29 per cent of students who took their exams while they were still being bullied. 

Overall, 56 per cent of bullied students felt that the bullying was having a negative impact on their studies.

Liam Hackett, founder and CEO of Ditch the Label, said: “Our survey shows the profound effect bullying is having upon the studies, self-esteem and therefore future prospects of millions of young people across the UK. 

“It is my hope that our research, message and intervention programmes will be used not only to raise awareness of the severity of bullying but also help us to reframe the prejudices and perceptions within wider society.”

Ditch the Label is launching a sponsored silence on May 18 to raise awareness of the 39 per cent of young people who stay silent about being victims of bullying. For details or to read the report, visit



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