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TEACHING UNIONS WELCOME GOVERNMENT SUPPORT AGAINST VIOLENCE IN SCHOOLS

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Commenting on today's announcement* of guidance and support to schools in combating violence and aggressive behavio...
Commenting on today's announcement* of guidance and support to schools in combating violence and aggressive behaviour towards teachers from parents and pupils, National Union of Teachers general secretary Doug McAvoy said:

'This guidance to schools will be welcomed by teachers round the country. The NUT's research shows that a small but growing number of pupils and parents believe it is acceptable to harangue and harass teachers, sometimes turning into physical assaults. It is not.

'Whilst the guidance and information from the government will be useful, schools need to be assured that there will be a speedy response from the police if the need should arise.

'There is also a dearth of statistical information on the number of such incidents and who carries them out. The government should be collecting this information which is necessary if we are to understand the nature and scale of the problem.

'Society is more aggressive and less respectful. Schools cannot shut this behaviour out at the school gates. But teachers and pupils must be able to go about their work free from fear of verbal abuse and assault.'

NAHT SUPPORTS GOVERNMENT CRACKDOWN ON INTIMIDATION, ABUSE AND THREATENED VIOLENCE BY PARENTS OR OTHER ADULTS AGAINST SCHOOL STAFF

National Association of Head Teachers general secretary David Hart said:

'NAHT strongly supports the government's drive to deal with increasing levels of intimidation, abuse and threatened violence by parents and other adults against school staff.

'The NAHT has contributed to the advice which is going to all local education authorities encouraging them to support heads and governing bodies whenever school staff are subjected to totally unacceptable behaviour by parents or other adults.

'NAHT members have themselves been on the receiving end of increasing levels of abuse, intimidation and threats. But not all local education authorities have taken the firm and decisive action necessary to ban these parents or other adults from school premises and, if this does not work, to obtain a restraining order from the courts.

'The government announcement sends a strong message which will be welcomed by our members and their staffs. More still needs to be done, particularly to encourage the police to make use of their powers under the criminal law, but this is a real step in the right direction.'

* see LGCnetfor today's announcement.

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