PUPIL SERIOUS VIOLENCE A SIGNIFICANT AND GROWING PROBLEM WITHIN SCHOOLS

Serious violence is having a devastating impact on children and young people’s safety, wellbeing and future life chances, the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union has told TUC Congress.

The Union has told Congress in Brighton that the Government is failing to respond appropriately to preventing and addressing serious violence involving children and young people. The NASUWT also recognised the work of teachers and headteachers who every day seek to ensure schools are safe sanctuaries for all children and young people.

The NASUWT has called on the TUC to press the Government to support schools and colleges in dealing with violence and disruption, underpinned by a commitment to substantially increase the levels of investment in welfare and support services for children, young people and families.

The NASUWT also wants to see an end to the culture of blaming teachers for pupil indiscipline.  

Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary, moving the motion, said:

“No one should go to work with the expectation that they will be verbally or physically abused. 

“Across the UK, teachers increasingly are reporting pupil indiscipline as one of the top concerns about their job. In the most recent evidence, 82% of teachers believe there is a widespread problem across schools with pupil indiscipline.

“Many teachers experience stress, anxiety, depression, loss of confidence and other adverse effects on their mental health, and in too many cases physical injury occurs.

“Children and young people are suffering the consequences of flawed social, economic and education policies and teachers and support staff left to pick up the pieces.

“Whilst this might explain some of the issues contributing to pupil indiscipline, it does not excuse the behaviour.

“Nor does it make acceptable the practices prevalent in too many schools that place sole responsibility for poor pupil behaviour on teachers.  The culture of teacher blaming has become increasingly widespread, with employers failing to accept their responsibilities to promoting good order.

“Maintaining an orderly behaviour environment in schools is central not only to the safety, health and wellbeing of all pupils and staff but also is critical in ensuring that teachers can teach and pupils can learn.

“Where employers fail to act, trade unions must commit to do so.”