Hotline for teachers' concerns about pupil indiscipline

Verbal and physical abuse is 'going unchallenged' in too many schools, union says

Tes Reporter

Hotline for teachers' concerns about pupil indiscipline

A union has opened a hotline for any teacher in Scotland to report concerns about pupil indiscipline.

They will be able to report concerns by text or voicemail, with the NASWUT Scotland teaching union promising to issue regular statements about information gathered on the hotline.

Chris Keates, acting NASUWT general secretary, said: "The hotline will provide us with up-to-the-minute information on how teachers are feeling about this important issue."

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"In addition, the schools involved in the current phase of the NASUWT's national action short of strike action instructions will today be receiving further specific instructions to assist teachers in dealing with the failure of schools and employers to respond to referrals of unacceptable behaviour and inappropriate restorative behaviour policies.

"No teacher should go to work with the expectation that they will be either verbally or physically abused, and while they are members of the NASUWT they will not."

The union says that specific action will also be taken in schools where members report serious issues around particular pupils or behaviour policies.

Ms Keates added: "Our research shows that 87 per cent of teachers in Scotland believe there is a widespread problem of pupil behaviour across schools. Over half believe that there is a problem in their own school.

"Pupil indiscipline is one of the top three concerns teachers have about their job, second only to concerns about excessive workload.

"It is because of these deep concerns that the NASUWT made pupil indiscipline one of the key issues in our ongoing trade dispute with the government."

Ms Keates added: "In too many schools, teachers tell us that verbal and physical abuse is going unchallenged.

"Referrals for this and other unacceptable behaviour are not addressed in a robust and timely manner and there is a growing culture in schools of 'blame the teacher' rather than holding pupils accountable for their behaviour.

"There are also widespread concerns among teachers about the misuse and abuse of restorative behaviour policies, which are becoming synonymous in too many cases with no punishment or sanctions for unacceptable behaviour."

A Scottish government spokesman said: "No teacher should have to suffer verbal or physical abuse in schools.

"We want all pupils to respect their peers and staff and are supporting a number of programmes to promote positive relationships and tackle indiscipline, abuse and violence.

"This includes good behaviour management, restorative approaches and programmes to help develop social, emotional and behavioural skills."

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