England's teacher intimidation among world's worst

International survey also shows that online abuse between pupils in England is highest in the developed world

John Roberts

Intimidation of teachers is higher in England than across the OECD as an average, Talis research shows

England’s schools have higher than average levels of teacher intimidation taking place every week, according to the biggest survey of teachers in the world.

This country was placed 13th among the 48 countries surveyed about the problem.

The new figures also reveal that the level of online bullying and abuse faced by English school pupils is by far the highest in the developed world.

The findings from Talis (the Teaching and Learning International Survey) from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have been published today from more than quarter of a million responses from teachers in 48 countries.

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The survey also shows that reports of vandalism and theft and bullying in schools are higher among English school leaders than the average across the OECD countries.

Teachers suffering intimidation

Talis results show that 4.7 per cent of school principals in England reported that intimidation of their school staff was taking place in their school every week.

This compares with an OECD average of 3.1 per cent.

Last month the NAHT headteachers' union voted to call on the government to protect teachers from escalating physical, verbal and online abuse.

The most common problem highlighted among English school leaders in today's Talis findings was pupils facing “unwanted electronic content” – through texts, emails or posts on the internet.

More than one in four headteachers in England (27.1 per cent) reported that this was happening weekly for their school pupils.

This is by far the biggest proportion in the OECD and way above the average of 3.4 per cent.

Similarly, 13.9 per cent of English school leaders said that pupils, parents or guardians were reporting people posting “hurtful information on the internet” about school pupils every week. 

This was also the highest figure across the OECD, where the average was 2.5 per cent.

The proportion of English school leaders reporting injury caused by violence happening every week was 2.6 per cent, slightly above the OECD average of 2 per cent.

 Although around one in 20 school leaders reported weekly examples of teacher intimidation, the findings were more positive about the classroom environment. 

In the survey, 97 per cent of teachers in England agreed that students and teachers usually got on well with each other.  

However, more than one in five (20.7 per cent) of teachers in England reported regular acts of bullying among pupils, compared with an OECD average of 14.3 per cent. 

Talis is the biggest single survey of teachers and school leaders in the world, covering more than 250,000 staff across 15,000 schools in 48 countries.

It aims to provide international information on who goes into teaching, what training they receive and what their working conditions are like.

This is the third edition of the survey to be published.

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John Roberts

John Roberts

John Roberts is North of England reporter for Tes

Find me on Twitter @JohnGRoberts

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