Fife teachers are facing three incidents of violent or threatening behaviour in schools every day, new figures have revealed.
Education staff reported 1,095 aggressive confrontations at work last year, a 63% increase on the 672 reports received by Fife Council in 2016/17.
Much of the increase has been attributed to better reporting systems introduced by the local authority.
However, the continuing level of violence, aggression and threats against staff has been branded unacceptable by the EIS teaching union, which has called for better training on how to diffuse intimidating situations.
Fife EIS publicity officer David Farmer said the union had real concerns about the statistics but praised the council for introducing an online system to make it easier for teachers to report incidents.
“For some teachers, going into work on a daily basis is really difficult,” he said.
“There are patterns of behaviour right across the sector from early years right up to secondary.
“The council, with trade union input, created a de-escalation pack a number of years ago and we would be keen to see that made accessible to all staff.
“A lack of training has been a real bug bear because the council has not been able to roll out the training as well as we would have liked.
“If you want to have a system operating consistently across all schools and nurture centres then you need to train people.”
Mr Farmer said most of the aggression was due to “societal issues” rather than problems with individual schools or the education service, and added: “The EIS accepts there is no magic wand in dealing with this.”
The council’s human resources manager Barbara Cooper said an in-depth review of how violence and aggression was managed had been carried out last year and a number of areas for improvement were being taken forward, including the need for training.
“No violence, aggression or threat is good but the number of actual physical incidents is still small, as we would wish it to be,” she said.
She added that a meeting had been held to address concerns that staffing levels and resources had made it difficult to release people for training.
“The executive director is developing a strategy to apply a holistic approach to wellbeing in education and children’s services to make sure staff feel supported and get the right training,” she said.
“We need to equip staff to prevent and deal with these sorts of issues.”