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Nearly one third of teachers report being abused online over the past 12 months, with half of those targeted saying parents, not just pupils, were the authors of the abuse.

These were among the shocking findings of UK-wide survey of teachers conducted by the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK. Other key findings from the 1507 teachers who responded included:

  • 31% of teachers reported being abused online over the last year, of those 50% said they had been abused by a parent 
  • Of those teachers suffering abuse, comments most commonly featured:
      Abuse by Pupils
 
     Abuse by Parents
  1. Insulting comments re character/appearance (52%)
  2. Insulting comment re professionalism/ teaching (45%)
  3. Pictures/video taken without consent (38%)
  1. Insulting comment re professionalism/ teaching (85%)
  2. Insulting comments re character/appearance (26%)
  3. Threats (20%)
  •  29% of abuse goes unreported because teachers do not think their complaints will be taken seriously  
  • Of those who do complain only 23% felt their complaint was dealt with adequately – with no action taken at all in 45% of cases  
  • 18% of teachers have had uninvited comments posted by pupils/parents to their personal social media accounts 
  • 38% of teachers have chosen to stop using social media for reasons linked to their profession – mainly to ensure details of their private life remain confidential.
Commenting on the findings, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“The findings of this survey paint a shocking picture of what is happening in our schools, where on a day-to-day basis teachers are getting no support despite being  subjected to appalling levels of online abuse. 
 
“Most worryingly it appears that rather than setting a good example to their children, even some parents think it is acceptable to abuse and threaten teachers online.
 
“This has to stop. Being a victim of online abuse can be a very traumatic experience, which can potentially ruin lives and careers. Government must act to put more safeguards in place to protect teachers and pupils alike and ensure our classrooms remain a safe and secure environment for all.”  
 

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