Bullying and the postgraduate trainee teacher: a comparative study

Keira Sewell, Tim Cain, Alex Woodgate‐Jones, Anne Srokosz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


In 2001, Maguire published the findings from a survey of the perceptions and experiences of secondary school trainee teachers of adult–adult bullying. The current paper reports on a study which aimed to compare the incidence and nature of bullying of postgraduate trainees in another English teacher training institution with the experiences of those in Maguire's and extend the original study to include a comparison of postgraduate Primary and Secondary trainee experiences. A similar questionnaire to that used by Maguire was used to determine trainee experiences of bullying and these were then explored further through individual interviews. The findings showed that while the levels of bullying in this study were much lower than those reported by Maguire, there were similarities in the experiences of the trainees from the two institutions in that most bullying took place in the school rather than in the higher education institution, younger trainees were most vulnerable and male trainees were less likely to experience bullying than female trainees. This study also indicates that the Primary trainees were more reluctant to tell someone they were being bullied than their Secondary counterparts and that bullying incidents were often characterised by a breakdown in communication between the trainee teacher and the school mentor. This study shows that trainees' bullying can cause both physical and psychological effects and that these might be a causal factor in the numbers of trainees choosing not to pursue a career in teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-18
JournalJournal of Education for Teaching
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • bullying
  • teacher training
  • mentor relationships


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