A warning was issued that many teachers were unsafe in Fife classrooms as statistics showed almost 1,000 physical incidents involving staff.
Some 970 physical incidents of violence or aggression were reported last year in Fife Council’s education and children’s service, which is largely made of up teachers.
In 26 cases the employee sustained an injury which resulted in time off work.
A union leader said he was unsurprised by the figure – almost 45% higher than the previous year – and said he had heard “all sorts of horror stories” about attacks endured by teachers.
Fife EIS spokesman David Farmer said: “For some teachers in Fife schools their school day is not safe.
“It’s not a healthy situation. Nobody should be going into work and be subjected to some of the things we hear about regularly, being kicked, spat on, sworn at, hit.”
He said aggression by pupils was encountered at every level, from nursery through to secondary school.
He warned: “Bad things have already happened but our real fear is that something really bad will happen.
“Once that happens the reputation of that school, the reputation of the authority is badly damaged.”
He put the sharp increase in the number of incidents down to the introduction of an online reporting system, but said many cases remained unreported.
He added: “We always expected there would be a greater number of incidents reported and in some respects that is a positive thing. People feel empowered to report these things.”
As the statistics were presented to the council’s assets, property and facilities committee, member Councillor Jonny Tepp called for a briefing to give more information surrounding the high number of incidents, which he described as “worrisome”.
Head of education Shelagh McLean said: “We recognise that our staff are our most important asset and therefore their health and wellbeing is of the utmost importance.
“We are committed to making our schools safe places for staff to work, and pupils to learn.
“We encourage staff to record all physical incidents and, separately, regularly seek the views of our staff on a range of matters, including behaviour in schools.
“The introduction of an electronic system has made the reporting system easier and all staff are encouraged to report all incidents, even those they may feel are more insignificant.
“In this way we are capturing even more minor incidents, therefore increasing the amount recorded.
“However, by making sure we have an accurate report of the frequency and type of incident we can track trends and ensure that our procedures for dealing with such incidents are effective.
“We remain fully committed to supporting all of our employees and working to promote positive behaviour in our schools.”