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Scottish Parliament Holyrood exterior side view

The Scottish Government is failing to act with the urgency required to get a grip of the escalating crisis in violence and abuse from pupils in schools, members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, will argue at the Union’s Scotland Annual Conference today (Friday).

It is now many months since a series of national behaviour summits were organised by the Cabinet Secretary, yet all that has publicly emerged since is a small number of completely inadequate proposals last November which completely fail to grasp the scale of the problem.

NASUWT members at the Conference, which is being held virtually, will condemn the failure of ministers to publish and implement nationally recognised clear behaviour guidelines for all schools.

They will call for a system of national agreed strategies to be put in place for dangerous and disruptive behaviour, which include a consistent set of consequences for pupils.

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

“In the absence of the robust provisions needed from Government, we will continue to take all steps in schools to ensure our members are protected from violence and abuse.

“But teachers should also be able to rely on their elected government to back them in safely undertaking the vital work they do every day with our children and young people.

“Despite the Cabinet Secretary professing to be deeply concerned about pupil behaviour in schools, all that she has done is announce a set of half-baked proposals that do not go anywhere near far enough to deal with the realities that teachers are experiencing day-in day-out in their classrooms.”  

Mike Corbett, NASUWT Scotland National Official, said:

“While it is clear much more needs to be done to tackle the root causes of the upsurge in violence, abuse and poor behaviour, immediate action can and should be taken to address its effects in our schools.

“In the past fortnight there have been two serious weapon attacks by pupils on staff and fellow pupils on school premises in the UK. Teachers are not being hyperbolic when they say they fear for their safety and feel the Scottish Government is currently not doing all it could to protect them.

“The Cabinet Secretary cannot claim to be in any doubt about what is needed to help address this problem. She needs to show real leadership by putting in place national guidelines that make it clear to schools what is expected of them and which uphold teachers’ right to work in safety.”


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