A new survey, commissioned by legal experts Slater and Gordon and the Anti-Bullying Alliance, reveals that over half of children and young people in England (55.2%) accept cyber-bullying as part of everyday life, yet parents and teachers, the people they are likely to turn to for help, feel ill equipped to deal with the problem.

The survey, published to kick start activities for next month’s national Anti-Bullying Week, reveals that almost 70% (67%) of children would turn to their parents if they were bullied online. However, 40% of parents do not know how to respond if their child is cyber-bullied or how to set up filters on computers, tablets and mobile phones that could protect their children.  Almost half (49%) of parents say that the amount of opportunities their child has to access the internet leaves them struggling to monitor online behaviour, with 51% saying this also makes them afraid for their child.

Almost seventy percent (69%) of teachers and 40% of young people said that more should be taught about cyber-bullying and online safety through the national curriculum.  However, 43% of teachers said their school did not currently teach anything about cyber-bullying and online safety. Over 30% of teachers (31.5%) said they didn’t have adequate knowledge to match the online behaviours of their pupils, with 44% saying they didn’t know how to respond to cyber-bullying.

Almost a third (32.1%) of young people said that educating schools, parents and young people would have the greatest impact towards combating the problem of cyber-bullying.

Luke Roberts, National Co-ordinator of the Anti-Bullying Alliance said:“Our research shows that cyber-bullying is an everyday problem for today’s children, but teachers and parents are not always able to provide the advice and support young people need. The solution is better education, not only in the classroom but better training for teachers and support for parents. We need a collaborative approach to tackling cyber-bullying, so children themselves can take responsibility for their own safety online and know where to turn for help when things go wrong. If we get this right, and make cyber-bullying a thing of the past, our children will be able to enjoy a digital future that is safe, fun and connected.”

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