TEACHERS are being emotionally blackmailed by parents, heads and local authorities into providing intimate medical care for children, it was claimed this week.
They are administering rectal Valium to pupils in mainstream and special schools who suffer from severe epilepsy. And at a residential special school in the south, teachers are dispensing Ritalin - a class B drug.
There is no legal or contractual requirement on any teacher to undertake medical care of children in their schools. Ian Draper, a Northamptonshire teacher and chair of the NASUWT's trades union training and education committee, said: "Teachers cannot be require to do anything like that.
"But there is a lot of emotional blackmail, with pressure being put on teachers to do this - here's a child who is delicate, you will take him won't you."
Mr Draper said teachers must bw consulted before medically fragile children are put in their class. "We are not saying that these children should not be educated, but if your child was in hospital you would expect them to be taught by a teacher. You wouldn't expect a surgeon to teach you maths or history.
"We need the right people for the job with the right qualifications. We need to see more school nurses available for these tasks."