Opinion Former Article

Risks taken with violent pupils

Pupils and school staff are being put at risk as a result of the failure of some schools to share information about violent and disruptive pupils.

The Annual Conference of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union has heard today that in too many cases adequate risk assessments are not undertaken of pupils who persistently display high levels of aggression and violence in school. Even where such assessments are made, the details are often not shared or passed on to staff, particularly when pupils move schools.

11% of teachers surveyed by the NASUWT say they have been subjected to physical violence by pupils in the last year. 15% say they have received threats of physical violence by pupils. 52% have been subjected to verbal abuse from those they teach.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“Pupil behaviour is one of the top concerns that teachers raise about their job.

“Yet evidence shows that teachers are not receiving the support to tackle these issues.

“Where a pupil is known to exhibit violent and disruptive behaviour, a risk assessment should be undertaken and action taken to support the pupil to address their behaviour and to protect other pupils and staff.

“In too many cases no effective assessment is ever undertaken. Even if it is, all too often this is not always shared with all staff or is not passed on to receiving schools if the pupil is moved.

“Employers who fail to disclose safety information leave themselves vulnerable to legal challenge and industrial action, but more importantly they are behaving recklessly with the health and wellbeing of staff and other pupils and this simply cannot be justified.”

ENDS

NASUWT Press Office contacts:
Ben Padley 07785 463 119
Lena Davies 07867 392 746
Sarah Cull 07920 711 069


Notes to editors
The NASUWT’s Annual Conference is being held at the ICC in Birmingham from 30 March to 2 April.

The online survey of NASUWT members attracted 4,080 responses from NASUWT members during February and March 2018.

The full text of the motion is below:

VIOLENT PUPILS AND RISK ASSESSMENTS
Russ Walters to move,
Rachel Knight to second:
Conference is concerned about the number of employers who lack the expertise, understanding and commitment to conduct risk assessments of violent and disruptive pupils.
Conference notes with dismay the failure of many schools to ensure that risk assessments for violent and disruptive pupils are not made known to all their teachers, especially when pupils move schools.
Conference rejects the view prevalent in too many schools that being physically or verbally assaulted by pupils is all part of the job.
Conference calls upon the National Executive to:
(i) produce training and guidance on the use and completion of risk assessments, especially when pupils move schools and
(ii) continue to take all appropriate action including industrial action to protect members where employers fail to do so.
(Executive)


Sarah Cull
Press and Media Officer
0121 457 6239 / 07920 711069

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