The Annual Bullying Survey 2020

Welcome to The Annual Bullying Survey 2020

The largest benchmark of bullying behaviours in the United Kingdom.

This year, we are celebrating our eighth annual edition of this important annual survey; documenting the true extent and nature of bullying behaviours from the real and often unheard voices of the young people who experience it. Each year, The Annual Bullying Survey is used by policy makers, educators, industry, activists and stakeholders alike to gain a broader understanding of young people and to advocate for changes to better serve young people.

Since our first edition in 2013, The Annual Bullying Survey has established itself as an invaluable benchmark of bullying behaviours in the United Kingdom. This essential annual report uncovers the climate and culture surrounding bullying, whilst also uncovering a wider range of challenges presented to young people today. This research is our contribution to the growing body of global evidence and also used as a tool to bring the needs of young people to the forefront of public conversation.

This year, we delve deeper into the mental wellbeing of 13,000 young people; exploring issues such as loneliness, poor mental health and revealing the biggest contributors to issues such as depression and anxiety in young people.

Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, it could be argued that the needs of young people are all too often forgotten and it is our hope that this report will contribute to a growing conversation about how we can better support our youth through these difficult times.

This report highlights that bullying as a whole has increased by 25% year-on-year. It could be argued that political fall-out is a significant contributor, with 1-in-3 of the young people surveyed saying that they believe the behaviour of politicians influences how people treat each other at school.

When asked about loneliness, a quarter of the young people we surveyed told us that they feel lonely all of the time. A sad irony in a society that is apparently “more connected than ever before”.

Is social media really making us happier? Our previous research uncovered that social media was a leading contributor towards low self-esteem and poor body image in young people, this report continues to identify that the half of those bullied felt they were targeted because of attitudes towards their physical appearance. 14% of respondents never like themselves, with a further 24% saying that they do but only rarely.

When asked broadly about their mental health, 42% told us that they have battled with anxiety, 25% with depression and 21% with suicidal thoughts. School pressures, exams, body image, feelings of loneliness and bereavement were referenced as the leading contributors to poor mental health.

Our free report has thousands of the latest bullying statistics and fully explores the real lived experiences of those who are victimised, those who perpetrate and those who witness bullying. Included in the report is the following: