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Children with cancer 'bullied'

4th December 2012

A survey by a cancer charity has found many children under the age of 11 who have cancer are being bullied at school.

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Clic Sargent carried out interviews with over 200 families and found the side effects of treatment for the disease, such as hair loss, often resulted in bullying.

The most prevalent childhood cancer is leukaemia and around 1,600 cancers are found in children in the UK every year.

The survey showed that over a third of families reported they were not happy with the methods the school used to reintegrate pupils who had had time off school or missed lessons.

Almost 50% of families said their child had become less close to other pupils or had "lost friends".

The charity's chief executive, Lorraine Clifton, said: "No child should have to miss out on their education because they've had cancer - and it's distressing to hear that some are teased and even bullied on their return to school."

"Sometimes parents, already struggling to cope with their child's diagnosis, have to fight to get the help their child needs - and they can feel really let down by the system."

A Department for Education representative said: "Bullying in all its forms is completely unacceptable, and is particularly deplorable when aimed at a child with a serious illness. Schools should be safe for all children to learn and reach their full potential free from fear." 

 

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