Information from Next Steps has also enabled researchers to carry out in-depth studies into the characteristics of bullying victims.

Research based on Next Steps has found that:

  • At age 14, almost half (47 per cent) of young people reported being bullied. This proportion decreased with age to 41 per cent at age 15 and 29 per cent at age 16.
  • Girls and vulnerable young people, such as those with Special Educational Needs and those living in care, were among those most likely to be bullied.
  • Bullying has a negative impact on both attainment and wellbeing. Pupils who are bullied are more likely to be disengaged from school and do significantly worse in their GCSEs than their classmates. They are also more likely not to be in education, employment or training (NEET) at age 16.
  • Fifteen-year-olds with statements of special educational needs were significantly more likely to be frequent victims of threats or acts of physical violence and theft, even when other factors that increase the risk of bullying were taken into account. They were also more likely to be excluded by a group of schoolmates or called names – a form of victimisation that is often referred to as ‘relational bullying’.