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Fifth of primary children 'bullied'

Over a fifth of primary schoolchildren have been physically bullied, a report has claimed.

The Kids Life and Times Survey produced by Queen's University and the University of Ulster also found that 36% had been bullied in other ways, including name calling.

The wide-ranging investigation provided a snapshot of other aspects of their young lives, with 74% confirming they had a TV in their bedroom, though most children reported being fed up with programmes about swine flu and the recession.

Dr Katrina Lloyd, from Queen's University, said: "While we often hear what the public and the media think about the issues affecting children, we rarely ask the children themselves about these things.

"The years spent at primary school are crucial to a child's development - not only in terms of what they learn but also their general wellbeing.

"This survey will help inform education policy makers in making decisions that affect thousands of school children across Northern Ireland."

Professor Gillian Robinson from the University of Ulster added: "This is the second Kids' Life and Times survey and, so far, almost 7,000 children have been able to express their views on a range of issues that are important to them.

"By inviting respondents to suggest topics for the next year's survey, we make sure that the issues covered are relevant to the lives of children in Northern Ireland today."

A total of 3,657 children in primary seven (aged 11 and 12) from 268 primary schools across Northern Ireland took part in the 2009 survey.

The findings are available at www.ark.ac.uk/klt along with a comic-style publication of results specially designed for children.

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