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Concern over major discrepancy between council figures and pupils' figures on bullying

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Concern has been raised over a major discrepancy between officially reported incidents of bullying and self-reported incidents in Perth and Kinross schools.In primary schools 42 per cent of local pupils who took part in the Health and Wellbeing Census in 2021/22 said they had experienced bullying in the last year.Yet according to Perth and Kinross Council's records only 0.3 per cent of primary pupils experienced bullying in 2021/22.The stark difference was raised during a council committee meeting last week.

Perth and Kinross Council's Learning and Families Committee analysed the Scottish Government Health and Wellbeing Census results when it met on Wednesday, March 15.Independent councillor Dave Cuthbert was "quite shocked there were only 30 recorded incidents of bullying in primary schools" and called on the council not to ignore bullying.He said: "Bullying's a natural thing.

It happens in the background and I think the statistics here [from the pupil survey] prove that quite clearly when 42 per cent of children said they were bullied and 74 per cent of those said they had reported it".The Kinross-shire councillor added: "Can we please move to a point where any incident of bullying is recorded and not seen as something that is negative for the school - it's a natural background thing that happens with children - and actually move to the point where we are identifying how big the problem is so we can assess it and find a solution to it?

Ignoring it just isn't a good idea."Convener SNP councillor John Rebbeck said: "Absolutely. Bullying is a terrible thing. There's no doubt about that."PKC's head of Education and Learning Sharon Johnston said: "That is a concern - the recording of bullying in primary schools.

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