Colleges need to focus on protecting students from being bullied while on their journeys to and from their studies, according to new government guidance.
A report, entitled Safe from Bullying in Further Education Colleges, says teenagers mostly feel safe while they are in colleges but that they do experience bullying and the times they are most at risk are during their journeys to and from the campus.
The report found that bullying usually took the form of name-calling, including some based on homophobic comments or students' religion or cultural background.
The official guidance says colleges should also tackle the bystanders who provide an audience for bullying in 85 per cent of cases. They should be encouraged to walk away or get help.
One 16-year-old student told the report's authors: "If you find out the person that has been bullying, talk to them and ask why they are doing it. Get some sense into their head, rather than just kicking them out."
Colleges should also address their campus environment to ensure that it provides safe spaces, not danger areas for bullying.
Separate areas or travel arrangements for 14 to 16-year-olds may be necessary, the report says.