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  1. ITV Report

Physical violence against teachers is a weekly occurence warns union

Nearly a quarter of teachers (22%) in the Eastern England region are experiencing physical violence from pupils at least once a week or more, a survey has found.

The teachers union NASUWT found that nearly nine in ten (85%) teachers have suffered physical or verbal abuse from pupils over the last 12 months. 85% of teachers have been sworn at, while more than four in ten (43%) have been verbally threatened.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of teachers have been hit, punched or kicked, and 36% have been shoved or barged. 4% have been spat at, and 1% have been head-butted.

Four in 10 (43%) experienced anxiety, depression or stress, and more than eight in ten (83%) say the abuse from pupils has affected their morale and enthusiasm for their job.

9 in 10 teachers have suffered physical/verbal abuse over past year.

Almost half (49%) of teachers report being made to feel that they are to blame by their school for issues regarding poor pupil behaviour, while 40% say the culture in their school is that verbal and physical abuse is part of the job and teachers should expect this behaviour

Less than a fifth of teachers (15%) feel that when incidents were reported, the pupil or pupils were dealt with appropriately. 9% state that no action was taken by the school to tackle the perpetrators.

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.

– Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT