Help us to Keep The Lights On for another decade! Back the Cable
The Bristol Cable

Shock levels of assaults on teachers revealed

Teachers report shock levels of violence at work, as the school cuts crisis continues to see teaching and support staff levels slashed across the city.

Reports

Bristol National Union of Teachers survey finds 70% of teaching staff report violence at work, as the school cuts crisis continues to see teaching and support staff levels slashed.

Over 70% of Bristol teachers have experienced violence at work in the last three years, according to a survey released today by Bristol National Union of Teachers (NUT). Now, the union is warning that the school cuts crisis will only exacerbate the issues.

The union is now urging further research and action to be taken to protect teachers, who have reported incidents of being hit, kicked, bitten, pinched, physically or sexually assaulted and sworn at.

Lisa Middle, vice-president of Bristol NUT and health and safety advisor, said the impact of more cuts would mean fewer support staff and greater class sizes. This would “absolutely make a difference” in terms of the violence epidemic and adequately managing behaviour of pupils.

“Most of the time when you look at behaviour it’s communication. Someone’s got to be around to see it, to listen to it and to understand it. So if there aren’t people around it’s more likely the behaviour will escalate into other ways of getting the message across,” she explains.

Of the teachers who reported assaults, over a quarter did not report the incident.

Drastic cuts are hitting all schools this year as the Department for Education funding fails to keep pace with inflation, pay rises, and extra expenditures on pension and national insurance. The pressure is increased with an upswing in pupil enrolments.

Bristol NUT, parents campaigns and many headteachers are now speaking out publicly over the acute funding crisis. The cuts will include large numbers of school support staff along with teachers.

The NUT survey also raised questions about accountability and responsibility for the safety of teachers at work. Under the academy system, the local authority no longer has an oversight role over the schools.

Of the teachers who experienced assaults, over a quarter did not report the incident, the survey exposed. Along with the fact that the incidents were so frequent, the reasons for not reporting ranged from teachers having ‘too much work to do’, because there was no recording system and a lack of trust that action would be taken, or that the school ‘discouraged’ reporting,

Middle says the answer to the problems rests with greater provision for schools and more training for staff. This should be provided by academy trusts for academy staff, and the local authority for council schools.

Yet core to addressing the issue – whether by the Department for Education, local authorities, or individual schools – is central government policy, says Middle. Schools simply need more money, and more provisions.

Bristol NUT’s findings mirror recent studies into assaults on staff in schools by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers and a report compiled by NUT Wales.

Read more on the school cuts crisis:

 

 

 

 

Join 2,500 Cable members redefining local media

Your support will help the Cable grow, deepening our connections in the city and investigating the issues that matter most in our communities.

Join now

What makes us different?

Comments

Post a comment

Mark if this comment is from the author of the article

By posting a comment you agree to our Comment Policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related content

Children ‘missing out’ on free school meals

Children could be missing out on free school meals because of schools not checking often enough for eligibility, according to Cabot Primary School's business manager.

How can schools address the long-term impacts of Covid-19 this academic year?

As kids go back to school this week, schools are considering how to repair the damage of the last 18 months.

The Bristol Briefing: 2,500 pupils in Bristol self-isolating

Infections continue to rise rapidly in Bristol, causing disruption to waste services and schools.

Inside Bristol schools during a new academic year like no other

Struggling to access Covid-19 testing, helping disadvantaged kids catch up, and anxieties about another lockdown: Bristol school leaders speak of the challenges of reopening to a new normal.

Bristol students ‘playing catch up’ to get uni places after A-levels fiasco

The government’s U-turn to award teacher assessed grades came after days of intense stress. In one shocking case, a Bristol school saw 84% of its year 13s’ results downgraded.

Revealed: Thousands of kids are being put in isolation, fuelling schools debate

A Bristol Cable investigation can reveal Bristol schools are sending children to isolation 1,000 times a week, shedding light on the controversial form of discipline where children are removed from class.

Join our newsletter

Get the essential stories you won’t find anywhere else

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter to get our weekly round-up direct to your inbox every Saturday

Join our newsletter

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter

Get our latest stories & essential Bristol news
sent to your inbox every Saturday morning