- Published on Monday, 19 November 2012 10:15
- Posted by Scott Buckler
More than 90% of children say they have been bullied, or seen someone be bullied, for being intelligent or talented - according to figures released today by the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA), which is hosted by the National Children's Bureau (NCB)
The research has been released to mark the start of the Anti-Bullying Week, which begins today. This year the campaign highlights how bullying can hold children back from achieving their full potential.
The research shows that more than a quarter of 11-16 year olds (27.3 %) have quit an activity they enjoy because of bullying, and almost half (49.5%) have played down a talent for fear of being bullied - rising to 53% amongst girls.
Despite the popularity of programmes like X-Factor, and Great Britain's achievements in the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, many children are scared to excel with 11% having stopped singing, 8% drama and 9% dancing. 8% have even quit sport for fear of being bullied.
Achievement in crucial academic subjects is also being stifled with 1 in 10 (12%) children saying they have played down their ability in science. Maths is also taking a hit, with almost 1 in 5 girls (18.8%) and more than 1 in 10 boys (11.4%) deliberately underachieving to evade bullying.
Ross Hendry, Chair of the Anti-Bullying Alliance says the results of the survey are very worrying: "We know that bullying can lead to children missing school, failing exams, dropping out of sport, avoiding extra-curricular activities and limiting their life choices. It's unacceptable that rather than celebrate their talent, they feel that they have to hide their gifts, purposely underachieve in crucial subjects and miss out on things they enjoy because of bullying.
"Government should take note. At a time when we need more young people to study maths and science at college and university, and to drive the future of our economy, they're actually cowering away from fear of being bullied.
"Bullying is holding our children back and stifling their future. Let's make a stand together this Anti-Bullying Week and make it clear that bullying is unacceptable and it must be tackled. We really are better without bullying."
ABA is hosted by the leading children's charity NCB, it brings together organisations and individuals who are committed to tackling bullying. This year's Anti-Bullying Week theme is 'We're Better Without Bullying' and ABA is asking for your help to raise awareness and to tackle bullying in our schools and communities.
The ABA will be conducting a twitter interview on the 19th November with @HSCSeries, to tweet your questions use #notobullying