Four in ten UK teachers face violence in their jobs

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) in the UK report that four in 10 teachers have faced verbal or physical aggression from a pupil's parents or guardian.

BBC News (6 April, 2009) - The ATL conducted a survey of 1000 teachers, finding that one quarter of them had been attacked by pupils; one third of the primary school teachers, and one fifth of the secondary school teachers.

Teachers feel that the past five years have seen an increase in violence with younger children. Aggressive  behaviour is no longer limited to secondary schools

These incident were reported to have serious impacts on the health and well-being of teachers. Some report a loss of confidence, the need to take sick days, as well as physical injuries from attacks.

Reports from last year indicated that more than 300 pupils a day were being temporarily, rather than permanently, excluded for violent conduct.

"Persistent low-level rudeness and disruption seems to have become a fact of life in education today and no longer raises eyebrows or seems to merit special attention," said Dr Ian Lancaster, a secondary school teacher from Cheshire.

The ATL is working to find solutions to support their members in creating a safe work environment.

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