Tips on tackling school violence

NEW guidance on dealing with violence in school is being issued to 220,000 trade union members after a teacher was punched in the face by an angry parent.

It advises teachers how to stop petty acts of violence escalating and report serious incidents as well as giving instructions on dealing with aggressive parents.

The advice is contained in diaries issued by the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers. The union wants zero tolerance of all forms of abuse.

Earlier this month a Sheffield mother of three was jailed for three months after punching NASUWT member Teresa Jones, who was five months pregnant, in a row over a school trip.

Recent research, carried out by the Teacher Support Network, found that between 1998-2000, about 85,000 teachers experienced aggression from pupils. Some 58,000 were the victims of parental aggression. In 1999-2000, 297 teachers were off work for three or more days, as a result of a school-based assault.

Eamonn O'Kane, NASUWT general secretary, said: "It is outrageous that teachers going about their daily job should have to be sworn at, spat at and attacked. It doesn't happen to the majority of people, and it just shouldn't happen to teachers."

The union said heads should introduce a code of conduct for pupils, backed by exclusions; raise the issue of violence in the school; and emphasise that classroom disruption would not be tolerated.

The Department for Education and Skills welcomed distribution of the guidelines.

"There is no excuse for attacking teachers and support staff. Parents should support heads and teachers who take the tough decisions when dealing with bad behaviour," a spokeman said.

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you