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How Many Students Have Something Stolen From Them in Secondary School?

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In an environment which is predominantly seen as safe, new data predicts that there will be over 220,000 thefts in secondary schools this academic year. 

First Mats analysed data from a survey ran in March 2023 asking people if they ever had something stolen from them in secondary school. 

The results show that more than 1 in 5 (23.27%) students had something stolen from them in Secondary School. Results also show that boys are 37% more likely to have something stolen than girls.

Worryingly, the rate of theft occurring in schools seems to be increasing. As the age brackets on our survey got younger, the number of thefts experienced increased. Over 30% of 18-24-year-olds report having something stolen from them at secondary school, in comparison to just 17% of 65+, a shocking 76.47% increase.

Averaging out the youngest age bracket’s figure over the secondary school years, which span from year groups 7 to 11, reveals that it is conceivable that 229,596 students are expected to face some form of theft during this academic year in state secondary schools. 


You can see our full findings here: School Theft Data.

Not only do parents regularly need to replace school uniforms and PE kits to keep up with growing children, but they are also common items to be stolen. In 2020, The Children’s Society surveyed around 1,000 parents across the UK and found that parents with children in state-maintained schools spent, on average, £337 per year on school uniforms for each secondary school child. 

However, uniform costs aren’t the only thing parents have to worry about. According to Ofcom, more than nine in ten children owned their own mobile phones by the time they reached the age of 11. With the average iPhone now retailing at £739, children are carrying around more valuable items than ever before.



We surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,418 people across the UK and asked, “In Secondary School, did you have anything stolen from you?”. 

The survey was hosted on Find Out Now on 3rd March 2023. The FON panel methodology can be reviewed here. Once the survey ended, we analysed the data to find out how many respondents had stolen something from them in secondary school. The data we received from this survey also allowed us to segment the answers by gender and age, among other categories. 


View the Datasheet



Richard O'Connor's Headshot

Richard O'Connor is a Director at First Mats. He has deep knowledge in areas like Manufacturing, Warehousing, Marine, and Health & Safety. Richard's insights have been featured in well-known publications such as Bloomberg Business, The Sun, and Reader's Digest. His blend of industry expertise and passion for sharing makes him a sought-after voice in his fields.

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