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Physical abuse is a clear and present danger for teachers

Physical abuse is a clear and present danger for teachers, argues specialist education recruitment consultancy

A report that has revealed details of attacks on teachers in Cambridgeshire by pupils as young as 4 may not be unique, according to a leading specialist education recruitment company.

TLTP Education &lt  says that the report which talked about teachers having been bitten, head-butted, jabbed, punched, kicked and slapped by primary school children is being reflected in feedback it has been receiving from its own candidates.

The report revealed that in 2011/12, there were 156 recorded attacks on teachers, eight at secondary schools. Teachers were bitten 38 times, kicked on 21 occasions, head-butted three times, punched 25 times, scratched 14 times and hit with an object 12 times by unruly children. The following year there were a total of 155 attacks – but just one reported from a state secondary school, according to figures released under freedom of information laws.

“Teachers are becoming increasingly concerned about the threat of abuse and violence in schools,” explains Darryl Mydat, managing director of TLTP Education &lt  (The London Teaching Pool).

TLTP’s most recent survey of teachers found that 69% said that they or their colleagues had been verbally abused by students in the previous twelve months compared with 64% in 2011.  Physical assaults on respondents or their colleagues were down slightly from the 20% recorded in TLTP’s previous survey however, 8% said that they had been assaulted and 9% said that a colleague had been assaulted.

“Teachers accept that very often they are working in complex situations and working with children from very challenging backgrounds and with serious issues of their own to address. They accept that and for many helping those kids is one of the reasons why they have entered the profession. But when you have, as we have had, teachers having had a compass thrown at them in class by a student you have to say a line has been crossed. Teachers are entitled to the same protection in the workplace that any of us have a right to expect.”

TLTP Education (The London Teaching Pool), which is a member of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, is an educational specialist with more than 60 years’ combined recruitment experience. It has placed more than 5000 candidates in jobs in London and the Home Counties in the last seven years.  And as experts in the special needs sector, it also provides psychologists, speech and language therapists and physiotherapists for school environments.


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