Anti-English bullying in Scottish schools?(17 Posts)
My DH has the opportunity to relocate to Scotland and we are seriously considering it. The one concern I have is for my young sons (oldest is in Year 1). With English parents and southern English accents are they going to be bullied at school? I know that children can pick on anything to bully other children about, but periodic reports of anti-English bullying in Scottish schools have me worried that a move to Scotland would make my boys perfect targets.
Any opinions appreciated.
I don't think it's likely - not impossible of course, as with all forms of bullying - but not particularly likely. We moved (back) up when DS was 4 and he sounded English. He never got bullied - sometimes other children made comments, but since it wasn't something he was uncomfortable about, he'd just say "Yes I was born in England. My dad's English" and that would be that. Never seemd to be a problem!
Where in Scotland were you planning to move to?
Undecided, but the job is based in Linlithgow so within an hour commute of there.
Linlithgow itself is a lovely town, and cosmopolitan enough that I wouldn't envisage any problems.
Unless you live near my Scot Nat brother.
There are some horrible wee towns in West Lothian - I wouldn't hesitate to move to Linlithgow, though, and it's on the main Glasgow-Edinburgh rail line.
My DH and I are English but live in West Lothian (I hope not in a horrible wee town!). Our sons were born in Scotland but, despite that, both have v strong English accents! DS1 has just started in P1 and not had any bother so far (but its a lovely little school). I'm also a Primary teacher and have to say most kids are interested in me being English, having a different accent etc and loads of them have relatives and friends in England that they like to talk about!
The only time I really get annoyed is when the football is on and I get the "I don't care who wins as long as its not England" conversation but most of the time I really don't think its an issue. Besides there are tons of English people living in Edinburgh and the Lothians.
I moved to Scotland when I was 11, and never lost my English accent, and yes I was bullied. However I think that at his age it won't be a problem as young ones are generally a lot more accepting of difference. The only reason it could become a problem is if a popular child comes from a family who are very anti-English in front of them, brings it to school and others decide to follow their lead. As long as it is a school that has caring teachers who will deal with the issue if it does arise (unfortunately I didn't, but this was 15 years ago, times have changed), it is a non issue. Plus he will probably have a broad scots accent within a year and will fit right in!
I think anti English bullying would be more likely in a community that doesn't have many English people moving into it. Linlithgow is lovely and I don't imagine there would be any bullying there. Edinburgh also has a large number of English people and unless you were very unlucky I don't imagine there would be any bullying there either.
I got lost trying to find the M8 one day and drove through some wee place that proudly declared itself "Gun crime-free since 1997" or somesuch.
We lived quite close to the border, and it was pretty anti-English there. Not everyone obviously, the majority weren't bothered at all, but I know some English children were bullied. Then again, there were others who were very well spoken English children who weren't.
I worked in a supermarket, I had people take their shopping and move to another till once they realised I was English One guy even complained to the manager about them hiring English people instead of Scots, only to find out the manager was English too
Ivy that's shocking! What narrow-minded arseholes!
DB does the "change my Facebook profile pic to the Eiffel Tower when France beat England at rugby" bollocks, but it's good-natured. (I still loathe this behaviour!)
I've no personal experience of bullying, though, but then I've always lived in or near the cities.
I live in the North East of Scotland and there are loads of children from England at my kids school. I have never, ever heard of anti english behaviour and would be horrified if there was!!
I think you will find that they develop Scottish accents very quickly when they start school there. They'll want to fit in. I was born in Edinburgh and grew up in the Borders (South East). My mum and dad are english (and still live there). I had a bit of taunting at school for the slight english variation in my accent, but actually I never really let it get to me, apart from thinking it was a bit ridiculous. Kids pick up on any minor variation to the 'norm'. I do think things are bit more cosmopolitan now thought than when I was at school in 70s/80s - even in The Borders!. Nearer Edinburgh, I don't think you'll have a problem.
It's sad that I'll have to choose carefully where to live to try to avoid this. In every other respect, Scotland sounds like such a wonderful place and we have family in Newcastle so we'd be much closer to them than we are now.
So is the general feeling that the Lothians and Edinburgh would be the place to be and to avoid the Borders? DS1 is very sensitive and gentle so I'm particularly worried about him. On the plus side, I'm assuming he won't get bullied for his beautiful red hair!
Thank you very much for all the advice.
You'll find idiots almost anywhere, there's no guarantees. The advantage of somewhere like Edinburgh or Linlithgow is that there are enough other English people around that the schoolchildren aren't likely to comment on it as much.
But I don't think you should limit where you choose to stay because of the possibility of bullying - there isn't any more bullying in one part of the country than another, it's just individual schools are better or worse at handling it when it happens. You can't always avoid there being something unusual about your child that could be used by bullies, and if a school has a bullying problem, then the bullies will find something and try it on, because that's the way they are. In an area which has little or no anti-English bullying there could be just as much of other kinds.
Very good point, thanks AMumInScotland. DS1 is at an excellent school at the moment so I'm uncertain whether I want to uproot him, although he only turned 5 in August and has only casual friendships.
My husband moved to Perthshire from England with his family (English parents and 2 older siblings) in late 1970s when he was 7.
He and his brother were bullied for being English. All through primary school and his brother (18 months older) was bullied thru most of secondary school too. he and his brother say the worst bit was the teachers noticing it, and turning a blind eye or saying something pejorative about the English.
I am English but grew up abroad so have a strange international school accent, and always rather naively thought of myself as British, not English. I was at uni in Scotland for 4 years (where met DH), and encountered a bit of the 'i support whoever plays england' stuff when the rugby was on, but didn't really notice much.
It wasn't until I did my PGCE in Edinburgh a few years later ( having been living abroad again) that I came across a lot more anti-English racism;always difficult when you are english and teaching about william wallace
It didn't bother me much. I just think it's a bit...sad. And really, if you inserted any other racial type/ nationality into the things I have been called, it would be seen as racism. Bit if you 'slag off' the English rather than Poles/ Muslims/ take your pick, it's just a bit of fun? Right?
I really really loved my 5 years in Scotland, but my husband will not consider moving back from London after what he and his brother went through- does not want our children to suffer the same. and as some of the other posters say, it might not happen, but i don't think I want to take that chance. I love our lovely multinational generally-accepting corner of SE London where there were 33 nationalities represented across 60 children in one of my dc's classes!
Join the discussion
Please login first.