More than a quarter of teachers experience physical violence from pupils weekly, survey finds

The survey was carried out by NASUWT The Teacher's Union
The survey was carried out by NASUWT The Teacher's Union

More than a quarter of teachers in the South East are experiencing physical violence from pupils at least once a week or more, according to a new survey.

NASUWT, The Teachers’ Union, found that six per cent of teachers stated they were attacked on a daily basis.

The survey found that 29 per cent of teachers have been hit, punched or kicked, and 36 per cent have been shoved or barged.

A further nine per cent have been spat at and three per cent have been head-butted, while more than a quarter report having had their property damaged, according to the findings.

Nearly eight in ten (79 per cent) of the survery respondents said the abuse from pupils has affected their morale and enthusiasm for their job.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said: “No teacher should ever have to go to work with the expectation of being verbally or physically abused, but it is clear from this survey that for too many teachers this is the day-to-day reality.

“Pupil indiscipline is now second only to workload in teachers’ concern about their job and is a contributory factor to the teacher recruitment and retention crisis.

“It is simply unacceptable that employers are failing in their legal duty of care to provide a safe working environment.

“Why is it that hospitals, job centres, railway stations and many other workplaces are now littered with posters in which employers make clear that abuse of staff will not be tolerated and yet the most teachers get is fault finding and blame.

“The school system is riven with poor and unacceptable employment practices that are putting teachers at risk and ultimately driving them out of the profession.

“Teachers provide one of the most important public services and they deserve better.”

The survey found that 71 per cent of respondents did not feel they have the resources or support to meet the behavioural needs of all the pupils they teach.

Meanwhile, 44 per cent said the culture in their school was that verbal and physical abuse is part of the job and teachers should expect this behaviour, according to the survey.

Only six in 10 teachers reported all of the incidents of abuse to their managers, with 37 per cent reporting some or most of the incidents, the findings revealed.

Giving their reasons, more than two-thirds (70 per cent) felt nothing would be done.

The Department for Education has been approached for a comment.

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