The dreadful org is trying to push further into our lives, even here in Britain, and has produced a report based on international research into bullying. It’s apparently based on research in 47 schools in 9 countries, so about 5 schools per country. The conclusion is that a higher number of pupils in British schools perceive bullying to be a problem than in other European countries. The last international report the org produced like this was about how fast people walked, and it was probably just as (un)scientific, just as (in)accurate, and just as silly.
I probably attended 5 schools at one time or another in England, and spent rather more time there than any BC researcher, and I think everybody there, pupils and teachers, was savvy enough to realise that bullying was a problem. Because bullying always was and always will be a problem – in class, games, out of school, via text messages, email, in virtual environments and so on - and the British Council, as a classic bullying organisation, knows that as well as any. But as is the norm with reports from the British Council, the agenda here is to establish a role for the organisation, and to seek to justify its massive subsidy from the taxpayer.
Here is a telling line from the report in The Guardian:
When asked how to remedy the situation, one-quarter of the children replied that they think there should be more religious holidays recognised in the school calendar.
Oh please. I have a different experience of Britain from the British Council because I never heard anybody suggest anywhere, publicly or privately, that more religious holidays – or even publishing the dates of the Jewish or Chinese New Year, or Diwali or Eid al-Fitr or even Whitsun - could be a remedy for anything, much less for bullying. The case for having fewer religious festivals in the British school calendar is arguably rather stronger anyway.
We have all seen bullying at school, and it’s a nasty phenomenon which it is the duty of teachers and principals to control and eliminate at every turn, whether it involves “migrants” (the currently “correct” term for immigrants) or anybody else. If you haven’t seen bullying, and do not see it as a problem, then this is not your planet. To say that bullying is part of human nature is not defeatist but realistic, and of course it is the duty of all responsible parents and teachers to seek it out, root it out where possible, and minimize the suffering it causes. But for anybody to imagine that any initiative or programme involving that arrogant bully the British Council, or more religious holidays, is likely to change any aspect of this is a naive delusional fantasy.