STATISTICS released by the department for education show there was a 21 per cent decrease in the number of school exclusions for bullying.

They fell from 24 to 19 between 2016/17 and 2017/18.

Across the North West, there was a seven per cent decrease ­— down from 515 to 478.

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.

“Anecdotally, nearly half of the parents who enrol their children with Oxford Home Schooling list bullying amongst their reasons for doing so.

"If your child is being bullied at school, then home education is a viable solution.”

Across England, the average number of exclusions for bullying dropped by 14 per cent.