Special school pupils are more likely to be bullied outside school, a study of 101 children with moderate learning difficulties has found. Nearly half (48 per cent) of those in special schools reported bullying from neighbours compared to 4 per cent in mainstream classes.
The study looked at the experiences of 10 to 14 year-olds from an unnamed education authority, 50 of whom went to special schools and 51 to mainstream schools.
Overall, 83 per cent of the sample had experienced some form of bullying.
In 49 per cent of cases they said the bullying related to their learning difficulties.
Authors, Brahm Norwich and Narcie Kelly of Exeter university, said it was difficult to know whether this overall level of bullying was higher than it would have been for a group of pupils without learning difficulties. Only one mainstream pupil said they would prefer special school while 18 of the special school pupils preferred mainstream.
Pupils' views on inclusion: moderate learning difficulties and bullying in mainstream and special schools, British Educational Research Journal, Vol 30, No.1