Survey suggests four in 10 teachers experience violence


A survey by the ATL teachers union has indicated that four out of 10 teachers has experienced violence from pupils in the last year.

1,250 staff from England, Northern Ireland and Wales were part of the research, with 77 per cent of them claiming to have been either shoved or pushed. Nine out of 10 said they needed to deal with ‘challenging behaviour’ (such as shouting or swearing) at some point in the year.

Approximately 50 per cent had been kicked or had an object thrown at them, and 45 per cent responded saying that they thought the behaviour of students in the past two years had worsened, despite the government saying teachers have more power and greater clarification on possible actions now.

78 per cent of teachers believed emotional and behavioural problems to be the reason for the violence they face, with almost 50 per cent believing the violence to be down to mental health issues of the students, leading to calls for more to be done to provide more mental health services.

“Teachers and school staff have a right to feel safe while doing their jobs and violence towards them is completely unacceptable,” said a spokesperson for the Department of Education.

“We have taken the decisive action to put teachers back in charge of the classroom by giving them the powers they need to tackle poor behaviour and discipline.”

“We have scrapped ‘no touch’ rules that stopped teachers removing disruptive pupils from classrooms and ensured schools’ decisions on exclusions can no longer be overruled,” they continued.