Media Influence and School Violence: A Fact-Based Examination

Verifying the Claims of Increased School Violence in England


    • The Department for Education (DoE) datasets provided do not hold gender-specific data on violent incidents in schools: The datasets provided for the analysis do not include gender-specific data on violent incidents or permanent exclusions in schools. Therefore, the source and validity of claims linking gender-specific incidents to Andrew Tate’s popularity cannot be verified using this data.
    • Permanent exclusions in schools across England have generally decreased since before the period of Tate’s rise to prominence: The datasets provided show that the number of permanent exclusions, which may include some violent incidents, has decreased in recent years. This finding contrasts with the narrative of increasing aggression in schools. However, it’s important to note that permanent exclusions are just one type of school incident, and this data may not fully represent the overall trend.
    • There is no significant increase in permanent exclusions for sexual or gender-based abuse during the academic years 2020/21 and 2021/22 according to the provided datasets: The datasets provided for these academic years show a small number of exclusions for sexual or gender-based abuse, with no clear increase during this period. This finding challenges the assertion of a link between Tate’s rise to online fame and an increase in such incidents. However, the data is aggregated on an annual basis, and more granular data might be needed to fully assess any potential correlation.These findings are based on the specific datasets provided and the assumptions made in the analysis. Different datasets or analytical methods could potentially lead to different findings.

In a world where influential figures and their statements significantly shape public opinion, it’s crucial to sift through narratives and draw conclusions based on solid facts. Recently, an interview on the BBC with a prominent online personality, Andrew Tate, prompted an exploration into a troubling claim – a purported increase in harassment and attacks on girls and female teachers in English schools tied to Tate’s rising popularity.

As a data science professional, and father to two daughters, it seemed appropriate to delve into the data and discern truth from speculation. This pursuit led to the submission of a Freedom of Information request to the Department for Education (DoE) for the necessary data.

The information received from the DoE was both enlightening and surprising. First, it appears that the Department does not hold gender-specific information on violent attacks in schools, raising questions about the claim’s origin. A closer look at data pertaining to permanent exclusions for sexual or gender-based abuse for the academic years 2020/21 and 2021/22 revealed no significant increase. This period encompasses Tate’s ascension to online popularity (February to December 2022), as indicated by Google Trends.


The confluence of these data streams prompts us to question how a rise in an individual’s online presence can contribute to an alleged increase in school-based harassment and attacks, particularly when the individual’s popularity spike postdates the period of interest.

This article is not an exercise in defending any person or their views. Instead, it is an endeavor to uphold truth and call for responsible journalism. The dissemination of unfounded claims, especially by credible media outlets, can stir fear and anxiety among the public, particularly those who may not have the resources or time to authenticate such information.

Accuracy in data analysis and presentation forms the bedrock of our understanding and decision-making. Hence, it’s crucial that discussions, especially those involving influential figures, rest on verified data and facts, rather than conjecture. The well-being of our children and the peace of mind of our society mandate honesty, transparency, and responsibility in journalism.

— Josh

Related resources

BBC Reporter claims ‘schools that are saying they are having increased incidents of girls being attacked, with female teachers being attacked because of you and your teachings’.