The key to preventing and dealing with bullying – and stopping the self-exclusion of victims – is having a strong school community. Steve Burnage looks at practical measures to achieve this...

Bullying is all too common in our schools. Prevalence rates vary depending on measurement criteria, but one 2015 survey found that 43 per cent of young people were bullied in the preceding 12 months, almost half of whom experienced bullying at least once a week (Ditch the Label, 2015).

For some children, the impact of this behaviour is so severe that they self-exclude (or are persistently absent) from school.

Research from NatCen and Red Balloon in 2011 estimated that more than 16,000 children between the ages of 11 and 15 are absent from state schools where bullying is the main reason for absence, a figure that rises to more than 77,000 where bullying is cited as one of a number of reasons for absence.

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