Prevalence of Bullying

Prevalence of Bullying in England

Although the research world lacks a comprehensive view of the prevalence of bullying in the UK, many organisations have tried to capture and quantify the experiences of young people and bullying.

It is difficult to accurately capture the proportion of young people being bullied in England, as most datasets rely on self-selecting surveys. However, the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE) can provide us with the best estimate of the issue due to its large sample size (N = 11,166) and ‘random and stratified’ sampling technique. We can therefore make some generalisations about the ‘state of bullying’ in England based on this sample.

Proportion of young people reporting each type of bullying in LSYPE2

Source: Department for Education

In 2014, 36% of Y10s reported being bullied in England

The study also illustrated the type and prevalence of bullying in England. Verbal and indirect bullying remains the most prevalent forms of bullying amongst students.

In addition, the National Foundation for Educational Research surveyed 35,000 secondary school students surveyed about their bullying experiences over the past 12 months. Of those who claimed they had been bullied:

  • 43% thought they had been bullied because of ‘lies and rumours’ about them
  • 43% thought they had been bullied because of how they look
  • 34% thought they had been bullied because of how they act


Department for Education (2015) LSYPE2: Evidence from Wave 2

Benton (2011) Sticks and stones may break my bones, but being on left on my own is worse: An analysis of reported bullying at school within NFER attitude survey. Slough: NFE