A King's College, London, survey of 241 trainees suggested that those on placement, particularly women aged 28 and under, are more likely to be bullied. Forty-three per cent of trainees reported feeling bullied in school and 18 per cent in their colleges.
Some of the bullies were trainees' tutors, but most were school mentors. While some students confronted their mentors successfully, others went to college tutors forsupport, only to be told to grin and bear it. Some consequently felt powerless, demoralised and unsupported.
The researchers conclude that mentor training should discourage bullying and emphasise constructive evaluation. Most importantly, as one trainee put it:
"Students need to be believed when they report bullying."
"Bullying in School: the perceptions and experiences of trainee teachers", by Meg Maguire, Centre for Public Policy Research, King's College, London. e-mail: email@example.com