Hun­dreds of school staff at­tacked in city

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - FRONT PAGE -

A teach­ing union has called for a meet­ing with Ab­erdeen City Coun­cil af­ter more than a quar­ter of staff re­ported suf­fer­ing vi­o­lent at­tacks in just one year.

A sur­vey of 3,000 EIS members, part of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion led by the union into vi­o­lence in Ab­erdeen schools, re­vealed 28% of re­spon­dents had re­ported be­ing as­saulted in the 2018-19 aca­demic year.

The most com­mon form of as­sault was kick­ing, which oc­curred in 47% of cases, fol­lowed by punch­ing – seen in 41% of in­ci­dents.

Teach­ers also re­ported be­ing bit­ten, spat on and hit with an ob­ject by

“The safety of our staff is of paramount im­por­tance”

pupils. The re­search also found 57% of teach­ers re­ported be­ing as­saulted in the past five years.

The sur­vey found 53% of teach­ers also re­ported be­ing ver­bally abused.

As a re­sult of the threat of vi­o­lence or abuse, more than 45% of teach­ers sur­veyed re­ported they had con­sid­ered leav­ing the pro­fes­sion and 37% said it had im­pacted on their health and well­be­ing.

Ron Con­sta­ble, sec­re­tary of the lo­cal EIS branch, said: “Teach­ing staff should never have to go to their em­ploy­ment with the fear of be­ing ver­bally or phys­i­cally abused, but it is clear from this sur­vey 18% of teach­ers are re­port­ing it is a daily oc­cur­rence.”

A spokesman for Ab­erdeen City Coun­cil said: “The safety of our teach­ing staff is of paramount im­por­tance.

“Teach­ing and sup­port staff in schools re­ceive ad­vice and guid­ance to en­sure they are equipped to defuse sit­u­a­tions and re­duce lev­els of risk.

“We en­gage reg­u­larly with trade unions and are com­mit­ted to con­tin­u­ing that pos­i­tive di­a­logue.”

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