Widespread bullying has been reported at schools across the city in the past year, according to worrying new figures.
There were 186 cases reported at at least 12 Dundee schools during the 2018/19 school year, a freedom of information (FoI)request has revealed.
Although the majority of cases appeared to be among older children at high schools and academies, the school with the highest number of reported incidents was in fact Clepington Primary School with 35.
This was followed by Craigie High School, where there were 29 incidents and Harris and Morgan academies, with 23 each.
Sidlaw View Primary School reported 16 instances of bullying.
However, of the 45 schools in Dundee, figures were only provided for 28 of them – meaning the number of children being bullied in the city’s schools could be even higher.
Julie Mitchell’s daughter Paige was forced to leave Braeview Academy because of the bullying she endured. She said the figures showed the problem was widespread in the city.
Ms Mitchell said: “Clearly there is a problem with bullying in Dundee.
“I am alarmed by the primary school that has 35 recorded incidents and that’s just for the 2018/19 academic year.
“I knew there was an issue but I did not realise the extent of it.
“This is not just about Paige, it’s about all the children who are going through this.”
Just 20 schools have their own anti-bullying policy in place – all of which recorded the highest numbers of incidents – despite the Scottish Government recommending each establishment has its own policy.
The Scottish Government has outlined that local authorities “must ensure that all establishments have an anti-bullying policy and procedure drawn up in consultation with staff, parents and children” as part of their national approach to anti-bullying.
The Tele understands that the remaining schools are in the process of developing their own specific policies.
Dundee City Council does have an anti-bullying guideline provided by the Children and Family Service, which states that schools are asked to “respond to any trends or issues identified through the recording of bullying behaviour” as well as ensuring they should “analyse recorded data termly”.
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Ms Mitchell viewed the data provided in the FoI and said she was sceptical the city council’s guidelines were being followed by schools.
The 41-year-old said: “The FoI also says there were only 11 cases of bullying at Braeview, but I have reported five alone.
“I know there are more families out there who have been going through the same thing because they have contacted me.
“And what about the other schools whose numbers are not on there?
“How many more children are getting bullied?”
She was also critical of the response of the schools in dealing with the problem – which she feels has not been good enough.
She said: “The council said that it works with families, but not once was I asked to come in for a meeting about Paige.”
Dundee City Council has been approached for comment.