This literature review examined the existing literature on peer-on-peer racist and faith targeted bullying among children and young people in the UK. The literature search was conducted in September 2020.
The review specifically looked at bullying through the lenses of race/ethnicity and religion. By extension, the review did not look at the general prevalence of racism, xenophobia and prejudice among children and young people in the UK in schools. Not that these issues are not important, they very much are, but they were beyond the scope of this targeted review.
Furthermore, the review only looked at children and young people being bullied, not at those bullying. Again, this was not because this is not an important issue, but firstly, there was very limited research on this and second, it was beyond the scope of the review.
Key findings from the review:
- There is a lack of recent research, particularly since the 2016 Brexit referendum.
- If you look at BAME groups and religious minorities in the research as a whole, it appeared that overall they are not more likely to be bullied than others.
- Whilst it is difficult to undertake research on racist and faith targeted bullying in the UK due to low numbers of BAME children in some schools, it is not appropriate to consider BAME as one group when looking at bullying. This is due to the wide variation of experiences across these groups which has been identified in the research.
- Among the groups more likely to be bullied were Gypsy, Roma and Traveller, asylum seeker/refugee and mixed-race children and young people.
- The type of racist and faith targeted bullying most often reported was name calling.
- Several studies suggested that being bullied in terms of one’s background and identity could have profound negative consequences compared to other types of bullying.
- There were research gaps, including cyberbullying, specific ethnic and religious groups, those with English as an additional language and the nature and impact of racist and faith-targeted bullying.
Other information and research about prevalence of racist and faith targeted bullying
Understanding young people’s experiences of racially motivated appearance focused bullying
Watch the video below for an introduction to the Emerging Minds funded research project led by Dr Shioma-lei Craythorne (Aston University) about young people's experiences of racially motivated appearace-targeted bullying. It includes reference to research that found:
- incidents of racial abuse and bullying of children has risen by a fifth within four years (NSPCC, 2019)
- UK schools recorded 60,177 racist incidents in a five-year period (Guardian, 2021)