A pupil violently attacking a teacher in a classroom. Photo credit: conventrytelegraph.net
25% of UK teachers experience physically violent attacks from pupils weekly
90% of them experienced verbal or physical abuse from them in the previous year; 86% said they had been sworn at and 46% said they had been verbally threatened.
UK teachers now appear to view pupils’ physically violent attacks on them as a training course and occupational hazard
Many teachers say they might quit the job due to the pupils’ poor behaviour
There is a current public debate on whether to use exclusions, school discipline policies and other sanctions for disruptive pupils in UK schools
UK’s Department of Education recently announced a £10m investment to support schools to share best practices in behaviour management
25% of nearly 5000 UK teachers say they experience physically violent attack from their pupils at least once every week, and many of the teachers said that the attacks made them less enthusiastic about their jobs and they might quit the job as a result of the poor behaviour, according to the report of by NASUWT, The Teachers’ Union. Several said they did not report the pupils’ poor behaviour because they feared school authorities would not take any action, while others said they had been warned that doing so would harm their careers.
The union said that the figure mentioned reflected the number of teachers who responded to a questionnaire that they were on the receiving end of physical attacks every week. A significant percentage reported that they had been shoved, hit, punched or kicked.
90% of the teachers said they had received some kind of verbal or physical abuse from pupils in the previous year; 86% said they had been sworn at and 46% said they had been verbally threatened.
One of the teachers confessed that it appears now that teachers are expected to tolerate verbal abuse and threats as par undergoing a training course and, quite plainly, an occupational hazard after experiencing obvious and apparently unstoppable deterioration in pupils’ behaviours for some years
Another teacher described the schools as becoming a frightening place over the last few years and tries avoiding them whenever susceptible to any attack.
According to NASUWT, the issue of pupil indiscipline is of national dominance since the responses cut across all their UK member countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The responses come in the heart of a public debate over the use of exclusions and school discipline policies that include removing disruptive pupils from classes and other sanctions.
At an annual conference of the National Education Union, the UK’s other main teaching union claimed that “zero-tolerance” behaviour policies could damage pupils’ mental health.
Department of Education’s intervention in UK school’s violence, indiscipline and poor behaviour
The Department for Education, which is responsible for schools in England, UK, said that teachers and school staff have a right to be safe while doing their jobs and any form of misconduct, particularly physically violent attacks towards them, is totally intolerable, asserting that majority of schools provide a safe environment for pupils and teaching staff and it’s important that they remain as such.
The UK Education Department further said that they were committed to tackling violence, indiscipline and poor behaviour among pupils in schools which have made great strides in empowering teachers to tackle that issue and have recently announced a £10m investment to support schools to share best practice in behaviour management.