Schoolchildren in England are more worried about bullying than any other European child, a study has found.
The results, published on Friday, show 31% of pupils in England were worried about being a victim of bullying or crime, compared to 19% across Europe.
The research was conducted by Anglia Ruskin University as part of a study examining the experiences and perceptions of crime and anti-social behaviour of young people during their journey between school and home.The two-year study questioned more than 4,000 pupils in eight European countries and also found 4% of English pupils "often or always experienced" victimisation incidents.
Stephen Moore, co-author of the study, said the figure "may seem small" but it represented tens of thousands of young people across the country.
“The primary threat to personal safety comes from other pupils generally from the same school, and whilst incidents may be regarded as ‘low impact’ – name-calling was much more common than violence – these low impact incidents can potentially have a significant effect on the emotional wellbeing of young people."
The study, titled 'The land in-between', also found reported incidents of homophobic and racist bullying were lower in England than most other European countries and 32% of English students would tell their parents if they were targeted by bullies.
But, Moore added, it was "most often" other young people who provided the support if their peers bullied.
"The research found that this level of support was not fully acknowledged in current bullying strategies, nor was the sophistication of young people in dealing with bullying incidents.
"The majority of young people want to feel responsible for the management of their own safety and their own lives. The mutual support that pupils give spontaneously to other young people needs to be harnessed by policy makers instead of focusing on adult-led, formal initiatives.”