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Behaviour indiscipline abuse angry student female teacher

The Cabinet Secretary for Education will be challenged to prove her party can deliver on its promises to tackle the rise in pupil violence and abuse in schools and address excessive teacher workload at this weekend’s SNP Conference.

The NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union is holding a fringe meeting at the SNP Conference in Aberdeen this Sunday at which the Union will highlight the worrying decline in pupil behaviour in Scotland’s schools and set out the steps we believe the SNP should take immediately to help halt the growth of serious violence and disorder in classrooms.

These include:

  • Strengthening national guidance for schools on behaviour to make it clear that appropriate sanctions, including exclusion, should be applied by every school;
  • The establishment of a consistent system of monitoring, reporting, recording and responding to incidents of violence and abuse across schools;
  • Improving training for school leaders and teachers on behaviour management.

At the fringe the NASUWT will also call on the Cabinet Secretary to commit to a timetable for honouring the SNP’s manifesto commitment to a reduction in class contact time for teachers. Despite pledges to address excessive teacher workload, the SNP has failed to introduce the planned measures. 

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

“We are going to the SNP Conference with a clear message that we need swift intervention to tackle the unacceptable upswing in serious pupil disorder and abuse and to see the promised actions to help tackle excessive teacher workload.

“Pupil behaviour and workload are two of the main factors driving teachers out of the profession and deterring new entrants. No party can fulfil its responsibility to secure a world-class education system that allows all children and young people to flourish and succeed without acting effectively to tackle these issues.”

Mike Corbett, NASUWT Scotland National Official, said:

“While we welcome recent moves from the Scottish Government to gather more evidence around the problem of pupil behaviour, the reality is that teachers across Scotland are facing violence and abuse in their classrooms on a daily basis. They need and deserve protection and to know that they will be supported when they report violence and abuse.

“The SNP needs to show it is on the side of teachers, through both acting to ensure there is a clear expectation that poor behaviour will not be tolerated in any school and by putting in place promised measures to tackle workload.

“The party needs to demonstrate it is listening to the concerns of the profession and more so, that it is ready to act to restore the dignity and respect for the profession that teachers have a right to expect.”


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