Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Support plea for Tayside and Fife’s teachers as figures show hundreds are assaulted every year

Liam Kerr
Liam Kerr

Pupils are continuing to assault hundreds of teachers in Tayside and Fife  every year, new figures show.

Calls have been made for more support to be given to both school staff and pupils as the information, provided by councils through Freedom of Information, said victims include head teachers, deputy heads and additional support needs staff.

The figures show 239 attacks occurred in Fife with a further 232 in Dundee, 102 in Perth and Kinross and 42 in Angus.

Teachers at Montrose Academy experienced the largest number of assaults – 14 – in 2019 in Angus. Levenmouth Academy was the highest ranked in Fife with 20 recorded assaults.

Staff at the secondary school section of the Community School of Auchterarder reported 8 assaults in 2019. Dundee City Council refused to break its data down by school.

‘Incredibly concerning’

Incidents classed as “physical assault” range from being punched and kicked to being pushed.

Scottish Conservative justice spokesman and north-east MSP Liam Kerr described the figures as “incredibly concerning.”

He said: “It’s absolutely shocking that teachers are subjected to any form of assault, no matter how minor it may appear.

“Teachers do everything they can to ensure children are given the best opportunity to achieve in life.

“But it’s clear the loss of specialist support staff who work with pupils, sometimes with complex needs, is being felt in the classroom because they also do terrific work in curbing these incidents.

“These incredibly concerning figures highlight the negative impact of cuts imposed on councils by the Scottish Government.

“We shouldn’t demonise pupils, but it is nevertheless vital teachers do not feel threatened in their own work environment.

“This is why it is imperative staff are given additional support to ensure they feel safe to carry out their duties in the classroom.”

Levenmouth Academy

Tackling the problem, US style

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said all forms of violence are unacceptable and have no place in our schools or society.

“Violence towards anyone is unacceptable and the safety of our children, young people and staff at school is paramount,” she added.

She highlighted the ‘Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Scotland’ project as an example of one approach to tackling the problem.

MVP Scotland encourages people to take a stand against harassment, abuse and violence rather than just ignoring it. It is modelled on a similar scheme implemented in US schools and colleges.

“The Scottish Government, and our partners across the education sector, advocate an approach for schools and local authorities to work with pupils on the underlying reasons behind inappropriate behaviour.

“We want all pupils to respect their peers and staff and are supporting a number of programmes to promote positive relationships and tackle indiscipline, abuse and violence,” she added.

Already a subscriber? Sign in