A recent UNISON survey found three out of four teaching assistants have witnessed physical violence and more than half have experienced it.
In January the ATL reported that 43% of staff said they’d dealt with physical violence from pupils in the last year. Due to the omnipresence of social media, there has also been an increase in cyber bullying, not only for young people, but also against school staff.
Nicky Morgan addressed the issue at the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) annual conference saying: "I want to be absolutely clear, that no teacher should ever have to work in fear of violence or harassment, either in school, outside of school, or online”.
If a school fails to take steps to ensure the safety of staff, including dealing with cyber bullying, teachers could consider bringing claims. However, prevention is better than cure, so effective training for staff and pupils, alongside embedded policies involving all school stakeholders will help to create the right ethos for a school.