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Bullying Statistics UK 2021

Bullying Statistics UK 2021 

Bullying is a serious problem in many schools and educational settings in the UK, with cyber bullying being a major cause for concern as internet access continues to increase. These bullying statistics cover how commonplace different types of bullying are in the UK, highlighting the areas in which bullying appears to be most and least pronounced. 

How Common is Bullying in Schools in England? 


To find out how common bullying is in schools in England, we conducted an analysis of government data showing permanent and fixed-period exclusions in England over the last 15 years. 


Our analysis found that:

  • Permanent exclusions for bullying in England schools have decreased by more than 64% since 2006/7.
  • Temporary exclusions for bullying in England schools have also decreased significantly, with figures dropping from 40,770 in 2006/7 to 21,060 in 2018/19.
  • A higher proportion of children are excluded from school for bullying in inner London than any other English region.

The proportion of permanent exclusions for bullying in England schools 

Where is Bullying the Most Common in the UK 2021?

We analysed where the term “Bullied at School” was searched the most in the UK based on the search volume and the population of each area looking at the 10 cities with the highest populations. We found that the term was searched the most per every 100 people in: 


Rank       City   
1 Birmingham
2 Edinburgh
3 Liverpool
4 Manchester
5 Sheffield
6 Glasgow
7 London
8 Leeds
9 Bradford
10 Gloucester


Our analysis found that the term “bullied at school” is searched most frequently in Birmingham, followed by Edinburgh and Liverpool, highlighting that bullying may be a prevalent issue in these cities. The search term was least popular in Gloucester which could suggest that the issue in the area isn’t as prevalent as some other areas in the UK.

Where Are Children Excluded From School for Bullying Most?


Region Permanent Exclusions for Bullying       Percentage of all permanent exclusions where bullying was the reason
Inner London 228 1.25
East Midlands 288 0.75
East of England 186 0.75
West Midlands 296 0.72
Outer London 295 0.61
South East 333 0.58
North West 396 0.41
North East 96 0.38
South West 130 0.31
Yorkshire and the Humber       74 0.28


Exclusions where bullying was the reason from 2006-2019 in England.

As you can see from the table, inner London has the highest proportion of permanent exclusions for bullying, followed by the East Midlands and East of England, then the West Midlands. 

There are also many other reasons for exclusions in schools in England such as:


  • Persistent disruptive behaviour
  • Racist abuse
  • Physical assault
  • Verbal assault
  • Theft
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Drug and alcohol related 
  • ‘Other’ (he reason is undisclosed)


As you can see, many of these additional reasons for children being excluded could also be linked to bullying.

How Common is Cyber Bullying in the UK 2021?

27% of those who experience bullying specified that the type of bullying they experienced was Cyber bullying according to ‘Ditch the Label’. Additionally, across the UK, almost 1 in every 5 (19%) children aged 10-15 experience cyber bullying, equating to around 764,000 children. Furthermore, the most common method of online bullying was nasty messaging, being sworn at and being called names with 10% of all children in the UK experiencing this.


When examining the term, “Bullying Online”, we analysed the number of searches in individual locations based on the search volume and the population of each area looking at the 10 most populous cities in the UK. We found that the term was searched the most frequent per every 100 people in:


Rank       City
1 Manchester
2 Birmingham
3 Edinburgh
4 Liverpool
5 Bradford
6 London
7 Sheffield
8 Glasgow
9 Gloucester
10 Leeds


Our analysis found that: 


“Bullying online” is searched the most in Manchester, followed by Birmingham and Edinburgh which are both also in the top 3 cities for the term “Bullied at School”. 


The term “bullying online” is searched for least in Leeds and Gloucester which is also the city where “bullied at school” is searched the least, suggesting that perhaps this area may experience less frequent instances of bullying in these contexts.

More Bullying Facts and Figures for 2021 


1 in every 4 young people in the UK have been victims of bullying in the past 12 months with 77% of those being bullied explaining that it negatively impacted their mental health. Furthermore, one third of those that were bullied explained that they had suicidal thoughts following the victimisation, highlighting the seriousness of the topic.


  • Almost a third (30%) of victims of bullying explain that they are bullied at least once per week.
  • Nearly half (47%) of bullying victims believe that they were bullied due to their physical appearance.
  • 72% of those who reported getting bullied experienced a moderate to extreme negative impact on their confidence.


These statistics were obtained following a survey asking 13,387 respondents aged between 12 and 18 across UK schools and colleges by the charity, ‘Ditch the Label’.


We also conducted keyword analysis using KWFinder to discover how common the phrase “bullied at school” was searched in the UK, to get a better understanding of how commonplace it was and how many people are looking to the internet for help and advice. 


Our analysis found that the term “bullied at school” is searched an average of 2,300 times per month, equating to 27,600 times per year. 


‘Ditch the Label’ report that only 24% of people who were bullied in the UK turn to the internet for advice, emphasising the scale of the issue.

Summary: Statistics on Bullying Roundup 

In the UK, bullying remains a serious problem, both in-person and online, causing substantial impacts on the mental health and wellbeing of thousands of children. 


We hope this article has been helpful and aided your understanding of how widespread the issue with bullying is and the effects it can have on the victims.

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