Schools exclude 190 for bullying
More than 190 children have been excluded from schools for bullying in the past three years.
The figures, released by the city and county councils as part of a freedom of information request, reveal that in Leicestershire 122 pupils were excluded from September 2009 to July 2012 for verbally or physically abusing fellow students. In Leicester, this figure was 71. Only one child has been permanently excluded for bullying in this time.
It is not known which school they attended.
So far this academic year – 2012-13 – seven pupils from city schools have been excluded. The number in county schools is not known.
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Neither council could provide details of individual incidents, but said they were working hard to tackle the problem and had schemes in place to deal with bullying.
A spokeswoman for Leicestershire County Council said: "We have an anti-bullying team which works with schools offering advice, training and support to enable them to deal with bullying, and a website – beyondbullying.com – which provides information, advice and support."
However, despite this, figures show that in 2011-12, the number of children excluded for bullying in Leicestershire's schools almost doubled, from 27 the previous year, to 53.
In Leicester, over the same period, there was a slight rise, up from 17 to 22.
The spokeswoman said: "Our 'Beyond Bullying Award' is now central to the support delivered by the anti-bullying team to schools. It provides a structured framework requiring them to develop a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate good anti-bullying practice across a range of criteria."
She added anyone with concerns about their children should contact the individual school.
In Leicester, the city council has an anti-bullying community award for schools to work towards and a multi-agency steering group aimed at tackling the issue. It also has the anti-bullying Text Someone service.
Dr Joe Dawson, principal educational psychologist at the city council, said: "We don't take this issue lightly and schools have to work hard to receive their awards.
"Most importantly we have to let people know that they shouldn't suffer in silence.
"It is always better to tell someone."