BRADFORD schools are outperforming the rest of the region in tackling bullying according, to new data.

Research by Oxford Home Schooling shows the city saw a 20 per cent decrease in the number of school exclusions for bullying between 2016/17 and 2017/18.

This includes both permanent and fix period exclusions.

Using the latest statistics from the Department for Education, it was found that Bradford's total figure dropped from 41 to 33.

But, in the same time period, Yorkshire and the Humber experienced a two per cent increase in exclusions for bullying overall.

It comes in as the worst in the country and is the only region to record an increase in exclusions for bullying, from the list of 10.

This is despite a three per cent decrease between 2011/12 and 2016/17.

Bradford also outperforms the rest of England when it comes to dealing with bullying.

The city's drop of a fifth is six per cent more than the average fall for the country (14 per cent).

Across England's schools in 2016/17, the total figure for exclusions for bullying sat at 4,275 case (82 a week).

The 2017/18 stats show a drop of 615 to 3,660 such exclusions (70 a week).

That decrease marks a significant improvement for Bradford and the country overall.

One local authority - Bracknell Forest, in Berkshire - managed to totally eradicate exclusions, reporting a 100 per cent decrease.

But this may not just be down to prevention of bullying, rather a movement towards better management of the issue.

Dr Nick Smith, principal at Oxford Home Schooling, said: "It is encouraging to see that in many areas the numbers of exclusions for bullying are decreasing.

"While this doesn’t necessarily mean that bullying is becoming less of an issue, it might suggest that schools are taking measures to deal with the problem, rather than just removing the children involved."

Overall, in 2017/18, bullying only accounted 0.4 per cent of permanent exclusions and 0.9 per cent of fixed term exclusions.

Persistent disruptive behaviour is the main culprit in both areas, at 34 and 30 per cent respectively.

For the first time in five years, permanent exclusions have actually fallen.

In Bradford, no pupils were kicked out of school indefinitely for bullying.

There were only 25 permanent exclusions for other reasons, across schools in the city.

That is the third lowest in the region, behind only Leeds (6) and York (5).

In total, 4,718 fixed period exclusions were given out in Bradford schools during 2017/18.

Only 33 of these were for bullying, and in terms of the average number of days lost per excluded pupil across the region, Bradford came out on top with North East Lincolnshire (3.92).

State-funded secondary schools were the biggest contributor to that, giving a total of 8,873 days of fixed period exclusion.

In contrast, state-funded primary schools gave 1,141 days, with special schools just 83.