More than half of young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Northamptonshire say they have been bullied at some point, a survey has claimed.
The annual report published by Healthwatch Northamptonshire yesterday (July 6) also says one-in-seven people aged between 11 and 22 with SEND admit they have bullied others, while one-in-ten have harmed themselves on purpose.
It points to a survey carried out in early 2016 when 230 children and young people were either interviewed or surveyed for their experiences with mental health and bullying. Two-thirds of people who took the survey were from Northampton.
Proportionally, three-out-of-four girls said they had been bullied compared to around half of the boys. A higher percentage of girls also said they had self-harmed.
Roughly one-in-seven of the children and young people said they had anxiety, and about the same number felt they had a behavioural issue. One-in-ten felt they had depression.
The report said: "These findings suggest that further research into the experiences of bullying of children and young people (CYP) with SEND would be beneficial, including who they are bullied by and where, what support they receive to prevent it or cope with it, and whether bullying differs between CYP with and without SEND.
"Healthwatch Northamptonshire feels very privileged that 156 CYP with SEND took the time and trouble to fill in the survey for us and give us their opinions. There were no spoiled surveys. We feel this was a good number of responses from a group of people often considered ‘harder to reach’."
The survey was raised as part of Healthwatch Northamptonshire's annual report, which also pointed to a survey of 2,000 children and young people to research understanding of eating disorders. It claimed over half did not know where to go for help with an eating disorder, especially boys.