One in five Dundee school bullying cases ‘racist’

Paul Clancy, Head of Service for secondary schools.
Paul Clancy, Head of Service for secondary schools.

A total of 400 children have reported being bullied in the city’s schools over the past two years — with one in five cases having a racial motive.

However, Paul Clancy, head of service for secondary schools at Dundee City Council, said that translated as only five reported incidents each year at each school.

The council began cataloguing incidents of bullying in August 2015.

Although the reasons were not known in a third of cases, racism was the cause of one in five incidents.

Other incidents were related to homophobia or sexual orientation, body image, family circumstances or disabilities.

Mr Clancy, who will become head of the council’s children and families service next month, said few other local authorities were tracking incidents of bullying in the same way, or making the data they collect publicly available.

He said: “There have been 400 incidents over a two-and-a-half-year period.

“I understand the difficulty for pupils and we take bullying very seriously but that is only five instances per year per school.

“There are no statistics out there to see how this compares but we are trying to get the very best information we can to deal with it.

“But I don’t believe we have high levels of bullying compared to other local authorities.”