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English children among the unhappiest in the world at school due to bullying

Violence and poor relationships with teachers puts English children 14th out of 15 countries surveyed for happiness at school as charity calls for action.

Children in England are unhappier at school than their peers in almost every other country included in a new international survey, with widespread bullying causing huge damage to their wellbeing.

An estimated half a million 10- and 12-year-olds are physically bullied at school, according to a study by the Children’s Society, which found that 38% of children surveyed had been hit by classmates in the last month.

In an international comparison of children’s happiness in 15 countries, the report concluded that children in England were unhappier with their school experience than their peers in 11 other countries, including Ethiopia and Algeria.

The findings, which are outlined in the Children’s Society’s annual Good Childhood report, carried out in collaboration with the University of York, paint an alarming picture of children’s experiences at school in England, and their wider sense of wellbeing.