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Research report

Safe and Special: An evaluation of bullying prevention methods involving pupils with special needs and disabilities

Emma McManus and Adrienne Katz

This summary aims to provide an outline of research into the use of bullying prevention methods with pupils with special educational needs (SEN)

This small-scale research project conducted between September 2008 and July 2009 focused on six schools and sought to:
  • audit the frequency and types of bullying incidents reported by pupils with SEN
  • explore the effectiveness of a small number of anti-bullying interventions as reported by pupils and teachers.
The study investigated the prevalence of different forms of bullying, including physical, verbal, relational (such as exclusion and rumour spreading) and cyber bullying. It also sought to explore the frequency of victimization, how well pupils thought bullying was tackled, willingness of pupils to help a victim and pupils’ feelings about safety at school. The study was also interested in investigating factors such as enjoyment of school, pupils’ thoughts about confiding in peers and staff and pupils’ feelings towards teachers.