Attacks on council workers
Council workers in South Lanarkshire were the victim of physical or verbal attacks over 500 times last year.
By far the group most at risk were teachers, with education staff reporting 391 incidents during 2014/15 — more than three-quarters of the total amount.
Of these, 354 were described as “physical” attacks and one resulted in serious injury.
The council-wide figures represents a 30.6 per cent increase on the previous year, but the council say this is down to improvements in recording incidents and encouraging staff to report attacks.
There were just two violent, physical assaults described as “major” throughout the year, a decrease on nine the previous year.
After education, the next group most at risk were social work staff who reported 79 incidents.
The figures were put to an executive committee last week.
Including accidents, the total incidents reported by staff was 730, up from 633 in 2013/14.
With attacks on teachers accounting for 77 per cent of incidents, a spokesperson for the Educational Institute of Scotland urged schools to take action against perpetrators.
They said: “While it is true that improved reporting procedures may be a factor in the increased number of recorded incidents, the fact remains that any attack on a teacher is a cause for serious concern.
“Schools must continue to provide an appropriate environment for learning and teaching, so it is essential that discipline policies are robust and that a firm line is taken in response to any physical attack on a teacher.
“One physical attack on a teacher is one incident too many.
“It is important, however, that we also recognise that most pupils are well behaved and that our schools continue to be safe places to work and to learn.”
A spokesperson for South Lanarkshire Council said: “Education staff are being encouraged to report even quite minor incidents. As a result reporting statistics have increased but do not reflect any major issues.”