Opinion Former Article

Lives are being ruined by workplace bullying

Workplace bullying in schools is ruining the lives of too many teachers, representatives at the Annual Conference of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, have claimed.

Teachers at the Conference in Birmingham have warned of the dangerous toll which bullying is having on the mental and physical health of teachers and have called for stronger legal remedies to ensure all cases of bullying are dealt with effectively.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“The evidence of workplace bullying is alarming. It is prevalent in schools.

“There are many highly successful schools where staff have respectful and supportive relationships, but in too many there is a culture of bullying where teachers are managed in a punitive and abusive way.

“The NASUWT has and will continue to challenge by all appropriate means, including industrial action, any employer who fails to treat their staff with dignity and respect.

“How can any employer discharge effectively its duty to protect pupils from bullying, when it fails to challenge the bullying of staff?”


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 full text of the motion is below:

Jenny Revell to move,
Peace Furusa to second:
Conference notes the evidence of the increased incidence of staff bullying staff and the horrific impact this continues to have on teachers’ mental and physical health and careers.
Conference further notes the NASUWT’s conclusions, drawn from research, that tackling cases of staff bullying staff using the Grievance Procedure is ineffective because of the lack of a stronger legal remedy.
Conference is concerned about evidence from the research which shows that when members who are being bullied initiate Grievance Procedures against headteachers or other senior leaders, they may experience a lack of natural justice in the forms of honesty, fairness and impartiality because this same group are the most likely perpetrators of workplace bullying.
Conference instructs the National Executive to vigorously campaign, as promised in the 2009
Tackling Workplace Bullying in Schools and Colleges booklet, to:
(i) promote the accurate and appropriate implementation of the informal and formal elements of the Grievance Procedure;
(ii) use NASUWT research evidence to examine the effectiveness of schools’ implementation of
Grievance Procedures and
(iii) establish a legal framework to underpin the Acas guidelines relating to grievance procedures.
Conference calls upon the National Executive to report to Conference the key objectives that reflect the seriousness of workplace bullying in the profession and provide a detailed campaign strategy to Conference 2019.
(South East Surrey)

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

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