Youth Trust News

Survey findings make bullying top priority

The Isle of Man is a safe place to grow up and bullying won’t be tolerated.

That is the message from the Children’s Service Partnership, which says tackling bullying is the number one priority emerging from a survey of young people.

The Youth Trust, a newly formed independent charity, conducted the biennial survey of 11 to 18-year-olds in November and December. The survey was previously conducted by the Government.

Young people answered questions relating to schooling, leisure, health, social attitudes, lifestyle choices and wellbeing. Some 1,370, or 26 per cent of those targeted, took part.

The Children’s Services Partnership – which is made up of Government Departments that work with young people, organisations providing care on their behalf, plus the voluntary/charitable sectors – has studied the findings.

They show that while 81 per cent of respondents are happy in school, and believe behaviour on school buses is getting better, 28 per cent have been bullied in the past year.

Of those, a worrying one in five say they are bullied daily.

The survey showed cyber-bullying is on the increase. More than half the bullying centres around appearance.

In comparison with the last survey, more young people said they’d have the confidence to tell a teacher about bullying but one in five confide in no-one.

Ken Callister, Principal Youth Officer with the Department of Education and Children, said levels of bullying reported by young people had stayed the same since the survey started in 2011.

‘All schools have bullying policies and initiatives and take it very seriously. Inroads have been made into preventing traditional forms of bullying but these have been eroded by the growth in cyber-bullying,’ Ken said.

‘Those who are persistently bullied are particularly vulnerable as it can damage emotional health and wellbeing.

‘The Isle of Man is a safe and a great place to bring up children. One of the values that underpins our way of life is us being nice to each other.

‘Those who engage in bullying undermine this value and the partnership will, as a priority, consider closely what practical steps it can take to reduce bullying.’

Other survey findings:

  • There has been a 3% increase in attendance at sports and youth clubs, a 2% increase in volunteering and a 10% increase in outdoor activities
  • 71% believe they have a healthy diet
  • The number drinking and smoking is falling
  • 21% say it is easy to get hold of ‘legal highs’
  • Respect for police officers has gone up from 76% to 84% and young people also feel police respect them more
  • 41% of young people have had contact with employers coming into school and 29% have a part-time job
  • They rank a good work ethic and being reliable as the most important qualities when job-seeking
  • A job in sports-related industries tops the list of career hopes.
  • 45% would like to work in the Isle of Man, 27% UK and 28% rest of the world.

Ken said: ‘The Children’s Services Partnership is delivering the Strategy for Children and Young People, which prioritises ensuring young people grow up in a safe and supportive community.

‘The partnership will work through the survey findings and target work at areas where it is most needed.’

The full survey findings can be found http://youthtrust.im/projects/youth-survey