Bullying is unacceptable regardless of the setting but bullying in school is endemic.
The parents of an unacceptable 45%* of home educated children who went to school report bullying as a reason for home educating. While bullying is normally by other pupils it is sometimes even by staff. The problem is often exacerbated by the schools poor, or totally absent response to the problem. This needs to change. (* The face of Elective home education I, EHP 2005 Mike Wood)
Since bullying events must be reported to their LA, many schools fear being stigmatised as a school where bullying is prevalent and too often their fall back position is to deny it happens and refuse to trigger their anti-bullying policy in any but the most flagrant of cases. So while some schools take a positive proactive stance against bulling, other schools fail to respond.
The reality of course is that bullying is present in all our schools, and indeed most settings. By ignoring it, or failing to act decisively, schools condone bullying as an acceptable cost of maintaining their schools reputation, the bullied child is simply collateral damage.
While the home education community is supportive of parents and their children who face this issue and will welcome them into the community and no matter why parents first began to home educate, the decision to do so is rarely a cause for regret, we do not want parents to feel coerced into a decision they would not otherwise consider. Therefore we urge parents to make all reasonable attempts to settle the matter with their school, providing delays do not represent a danger to your child.
There are some organisations that can offer support:
Kidscape also offer interactive one day workshops for children and families coping with bullying. These are available even if you now home educate.
if you finally decide to home educate, you can be assured of a warm welcome from the home education community who will be sure to offer you support in your decision. If you are curious to know more about home education try reading our FAQ.