Schools must be safe places for all who are in them
It is a problem that has to be addressed.
There are more children who require additional support in mainstream schools than in the past. The philosophy behind this is good. Having children of all abilities together, so they can forge friendships and grow together to find understanding and acceptance, is a laudable aim.
As reasonable human beings we can only applaud the idea of children of all abilities mixing and finding common ground together.
All children benefit from a wide exposure to the world – that, after all, is what an education is supposed to do.
But, inevitably, when new ideas come in, new problems will arise too.
So this idea needs good planning, with safeguards in place for the challenges that crop up in classrooms every day.
Some children are more difficult to manage and to teach than others. Facing those problems and defeating them is the reason an integrated education policy was put in place.
But our story tells today of teaching assistants being assaulted.
No matter the laudable aims and the benefits that come, that can’t go on.
Whatever the difficulties and obstacles, there should be resources in place to prevent violence in schools.
If this plan is to work, then it has to have a structure that will allow it to work.
New ideas should be welcomed, but all aspects and all eventualities have to be considered.
A culture of violence in classrooms isn’t fair on pupils, teachers or teaching assistants.
Our schools must be safe places for everyone.