Education news

More than half of school support staff experience `shocking violence'

The GMB union's survey found that more than 16 per cent of school staff were attacked every week

MORE than half of school support staff have experienced shocking violence at work, a survey has found.

Assaults suffered include stabbings, attempted strangulation and pupils trying to chop off a classroom assistant's fingers with scissors.

In one case, a pregnant assistant suffered a miscarriage after being kicked in the stomach.

Other members of staff have had faeces thrown at them, been spat at and had their hair cut off.

According to a survey by the GMB union, more than 16 per cent said they were attacked every week.

The union found that parents had threatened school support staff, while crossing patrol staff reported cars being driven at them by angry motorists.

Injuries from attacks included broken jaws, broken noses, knee replacements suspected heart attacks and broken necks.

GMB surveyed almost 5,000 school support staff.

More than 2,400 said they had experienced violence at work, with 778 saying they were attacked every week.

"These stories from the frontline by GMB's school staff members are truly disturbing," said Karen Leonard, the union's national officer.

"They can face a litany of violence that would constitute criminal offences in other jobs. No-one should be physically threatened at work. Violence from parents in particular is completely inexcusable.

"School support staff love their jobs, love the kids and want to carry on doing their best for the children. All they ask is their school backs them up when it does happen - and takes the common-sense steps needed to protect them."

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