Bullying incidents 'higher' than recorded figures

Not all cases of significant bullying and racist incidents at Highland schools are being recorded, council officers have suggested.

In 2011-12, 36 incidents were reported - 30 in primary schools and six in secondaries. A total of 41 incidents were recorded in the previous year.

In a report, Highland Council officers said cases of bullying were likely to be higher than the recorded figures.

They said there could be a number of reasons more were not reported.

One factor could be that incidents were dealt with by staff to the satisfaction of pupils and parents without the need for paperwork.

However, officers said other reasons could be that the lengthy form filling could be a "barrier" to staff recording some incidents, and also some teachers may not understand the bullying as being significant.

Officials also said pupils may not report incidents because "they accept them as being part of the culture of schools".

The report will be considered by councillors next week.

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