They said..

21st March 2008 at 00:00
'43,000 teacher attacks' - The Sun

We say...

Many teachers do face horrendous behaviour, and hundreds have been the victims of physical attacks. But let's not exaggerate the problem.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers published a survey this week suggesting that around one in 10 teachers had received physical injuries from pupils. The Sun took the total number of teachers in England - 430,000 - and simply divided this figure by 10.

The union's research was valuable, timely and a reflection of teachers' genuine concerns about pupil behaviour. But it is dubious to believe that simply applying its findings to the whole teacher population provides an accurate representation of the national picture.

The survey was emailed to more than 5,000 teachers, but only 813 replied. And the respondents, randomly selected, may have been those with the worst experiences.

The fact that the union found 76 teachers who said they had been physically assaulted by pupils should be worrying enough.

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