School abuse: Teachers face sexualised insults in class, says unionon April 3, 2021 at 4:29 pm

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

A union conference hears staff are subjected to “derogatory sexualised” language and violence.

Stock picture of teacher in front of class

image copyrightGetty Images

Teachers face “derogatory sexualised” language as well as violence and threats from pupils in the classroom, a union conference has heard.

The NASUWT conference condemned schools and colleges that claim “unacceptable” student behaviour is “part of the job”.

A survey of over 4,700 union members found 38% had been verbally abused, and 10% threatened with violence.

“We need to reclaim our classrooms, but we cannot do it alone,” said NASUWT executive member Wendy Exton.

Teachers are often left with no access to appropriate support and many school and college leaders do not receive adequate training, a motion passed at the conference said.

The concerns from teachers come after school pupils sparked a government review by posting stories online about sexual harassment and abuse by their peers.

The website Everyone’s Invited has now gathered more than 13,400 testimonies of pupils’ experiences.

Ms Exton said criminal issues such as drugs, violence, knives and country lines “spill over” into the classroom, and go unreported “as schools are afraid of the repercussions”.

She said too many excuses were made for poor behaviour, “from living on a council estate to trauma and even lack of tobacco”.

“Today’s behaviour directed to us as teachers include not only vile language, but derogatory sexualised terms, threats to ourselves and our families, and indeed, violence itself,” Ms Exton said.

“In classrooms, many staff are struggling alone with extreme behaviours.”

The survey of 4,700 NASUWT members found that in addition to verbal abuse and threats, 6% of teachers had been subjected to physical violence by pupils in the last year.

The motion at the conference applauded teachers who have balloted for industrial action in order to refuse to teach violent pupils.

Rosemary Carabine, another member of the union’s executive, questioned why teachers should have to use workplace grievance procedures or industrial action to feel safe at work from “daily” threats and aggression, in some cases.

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT general secretary, said the union was “unequivocal” that teachers should not have to endure any form of abuse in the classroom or online.

“The union is continuing to take steps, up to and including industrial action and refusal to teach ballots, where members report to us that serious pupil indiscipline or abuse is going unchallenged by their school,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Department for Education said: “In no circumstances should teachers be subjected to abuse simply for doing their jobs.”

The department said it had “ambitious plans” to improve behaviour in schools, including making behaviour management a core part of early teacher training, and improving guidance for schools.

It is also funding £10m “behaviour hubs”, where schools with “exemplary behaviour cultures” share practices with others that want to improve, the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson told the NASUWT conference that investing in the next generation of teachers was “crucial” to the pandemic recovery plans.

In the pre-recorded speech, he said more needs to be done to improve teacher training as the quality of teaching was the “single most important factor” in education.

Banner Image Reading Around the BBC - Blue
Footer - Blue
- Advertisement -




Coronavirus: ‘Only sensible’ to cancel India trip says Johnsonon April 19, 2021 at 12:10 pm

The PM's visit has been cancelled amid concerns over rising Covid cases in the country.Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said it was "only sensible"...

OnlyFans to ban sexually explicit contenton August 19, 2021 at 11:49 pm

The online subscription site will prevent users from posting content showing 'sexually explicit conduct'.image sourceGetty ImagesThe subscription site OnlyFans, known for its adult content,...

Iran prisons chief apologises over leaked videos of Evin abuseon August 24, 2021 at 1:40 pm

Hackers leaked videos showing detainees being beaten by guards at Tehran's notorious Evin prison.The head of Iran's prison service has apologised after hackers leaked...

AT&T’s cord-cutting problem is accelerating and the worst may be yet to come

AT&T Inc. just saw the largest year-over-year drop yet on a video subscriber metric, according to an analyst, and things could get worse from...

Covid-19: Indian hospitals buckle under surge and US lifts J&J jab pauseon April 24, 2021 at 7:16 am

Five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Saturday morning.Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic...