New Zealand second-worst for bullying – OECD

New Zealand is the second-worst country for bullying in schools according to a new OECD report. Of the 70 countries surveyed, only Latvia fared worse.

Twenty-six per cent of 15-year-olds in New Zealand reported experiencing at least one of six bullying behaviours a few times a month, behaviours defined as:

  • other students took away or destroyed things that belonged to me
  • I was hit or pushed around 
  • I was threatened
  • other students spread nasty rumours about me
  • other students left me out of things on purpose
  • other students made fun of me

The negative experiences correlated strongly with students’ relationships with teachers and other students; those who had a weaker sense of belonging were more likely to report that they were treated unfairly by their teachers, or had experienced bullying at school.

The PISA report also confirmed that higher achievement is closely linked with a strong sense of belonging, motivation to achieve, parental support and lower school work-related anxiety. School work-related anxiety and worry about poor grades among New Zealand students was high, particularly for girls. A small minority of students were recorded as ‘extreme users’ of the internet, a result that is associated with lower achievement.

On average, New Zealand 15-year-olds spend more time on the internet outside of school hours than their OECD peers, with an average two hours and 43 minutes online during the week compared with OECD average of two hours and 26 minutes. That is 17 minutes a day more.

On the weekend, the average New Zealand 15-year-old spends three hours and 16 minutes online compared with the OECD average of three hours and 4 minutes. That is 12 minutes a day more.

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