Australia among the main countries in terms of bullying

Australian students are experiencing higher levels of bullying than other comparable English-speaking countries, a report has found.

Education experts are concerned that a lack of classroom discipline is hindering students’ school results.

Worrying rates of bullying in Australian schools were highlighted by the Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER), which examined data from the OECD’s Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

New research has found that Australian students experienced some of the highest rates of bullying among English-speaking nations. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

It surveyed about 690,000 15-year-old students from 81 countries, including 13,437 from Australia.

The analysis showed that Australian students experienced the second highest level of bullying, behind only Latvia.

About one in six Australian students surveyed (16 per cent) said they had been made fun of by their classmates.

6 per cent of Australian students reported being hit or pushed and one in 10 said unpleasant rumors had been spread about them.

Only students from Poland, New Zealand, Hong Kong and the United States felt less safe in schools than their Australian counterparts.

The report said Australian classrooms are among the messiest in the world.

About 42 per cent of students in Australian schools reported disorder in most classes, and 40 per cent said they were distracted by digital devices.

Teachers were ignored in classrooms, a third said.

Another conclusion of the report was that girls feel less secure than boys and cope worse with stress.

One in five girls feels anxious if they can’t immediately access their phone or other digital device.

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Australian schools were also hampered by low teacher numbers compared to other OECD countries.

Only four other nations had greater teacher shortages than Australia.