Compensation for pupil violence shows teachers need more protection, says TLTP Education
Darryl Mydat, managing director of TLTP Education (The London Teaching Pool), says concerns over a compensation culture need to be put to one side when it comes to injuries sustained as a result of pupil attacks.
“Much of the compensation paid out was due to injuries sustained as a result of lack of health and safety in the workplace,” says Mydat. “However we and the teachers we work with are increasingly concerned at the continuing rise in pupil indiscipline and violence in the classroom.”
Mydat says that pupil discipline continues to deteriorate with a TLTP survey showing that 41% of teachers had said that they had been verbally abused in school during the last academic year and a further 24% said they knew a colleague who had been.
“There has been a power shift in the classroom towards the students and this needs to be addressed,” continues Mydat. “A young teacher, perhaps a young female teacher, faced with teenage students apparently happy to challenge the teacher’s authority, showing disrespect, using mobile phones in class and hurling verbal abuse at teachers is an ever-present problem.”
Mydat also cites a survey from last year by the Association of Teachers & Lecturers, which found that 33 per cent of teachers had been forced to deal with pupil violence since September 2011 – up from 25% from the ATL’s survey two years previously. Of those, some 28 per cent said violence was directed at them and 29 per cent reported intervening to stop children attacking a fellow staff member.
“We have teachers on our books who have witnessed or been victims of student violence themselves, including one who had an open compass thrown at him in a classroom. There is a growing trend in our society to paint teachers as constant complainers who do a little lesson planning and enjoy long, lazy holidays. It’s time to show the real picture.”