Teacher assaults spark concern

12th January 2001 at 00:00
ONE teacher in 10 in our survey claims to have been assaulted by a pupil in the past year.

Two-thirds (66 per cent) of teachers believe that standards of behaviour have declined, and in the past year one in four teachers was threatened by a pupil while 13 per cent were confronted by parents.

Young staff appear to be most vulnerable with three out of 10 teachers under the age of 30 threatened by a pupil compared to around a quarter of all other age groups. Women and teachers in special schools were also most likely to say they had been assaulted. Of the quarter of the sample threatened by pupil 41 per cent report actual assaults.

Just two teachers of the 80 or so threatened by parents were actually assaulted. Both were women over 40, who had been in the job for more than 20 years and worked in primary schools.

More than four-fifths of those polled (84 per cent) agreed that heads should have the final say on excluding a pupil.

Despite a perception that behaviour had declined more teachers - 83 per cent - did not want caning re-introduced. This contrasts sharply with a TES parent poll last year when more than half called for the re-introduction of corporal punishment.

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