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One in 10 teachers sexually threatened by pupils

Almost one in 10 teachers has received threats of a sexual nature from pupils, a survey for the Teacher Support Network suggests.

Half the respondents reported being the victim of threats of violence from pupils; 41 per cent said they had been subjected to violence or attempted violence, including being punched, kicked and bitten.

More than 95 per cent of the 414 teachers who took part in the survey said they had experienced swearing or "backchat" from pupils.

Almost six out of 10 said they had had an object thrown at them; more than four in 10 said they had considered leaving the profession because of physical or verbal abuse.

Proposals to introduce new powers for teachers to search pupils for drugs, alcohol and stolen items received a mixed response. More than half said the powers would not prove effective in reducing violence and disruption.

Seven out of 10 said they would not feel confident in using the new powers, which are part of legislation going through Parliament.

Julian Stanley, chief executive of the Teacher Support Network, said: "Schools must ensure that teachers have a clear understanding of the disciplinary options available to them and that they are confident in their use.

"Crucially, the development and implementation of school policies must involve the whole school community to effectively improve behaviour and discipline."

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