The figures showed that in 2012-13 there were 4,507 cases of cyber bullying compared to 2,410 in 2011-12 – a significant increase.
For the first time in the charity’s 28-year history, the report also revealed that more counselling took place online (59%) than by telephone (41%) – potentially marking the beginning of a shift in the way individuals seek support.
Chief executive of NSPCC (which runs ChildLine), Peter Wanless, commented: “The issues facing children today are very different from those that faced us as children.
“Stranger danger, for example, rarely comes up in contacts to ChildLine but depression, self-harm, online bullying and even suicide contacts are increasing exponentially.”
Wanless went on to say that if we want to help young people, we need to listen to what they are telling us about the kinds of issues they are facing.
The Department for Education has said every school now needs to have measures in place by law to prevent cyber bullying: “Thanks to our new curriculum, children will soon be taught how to stay safe online, including cyber bullying, from the age of five.”
Teachers have also now been given more power to tackle bullying. They can search pupils for banned items and have permission to delete any inappropriate images from phones. Teachers can also give out same day detentions when necessary.
The Department of Education have also said that they will be providing over £4m to various anti-bullying organisations to help schools deal with the issues more effectively.