Posted: Wed 3rd Apr 2024

Teachers demand action on pupil violence in Wales for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Apr 3rd, 2024

Teachers in Wales are facing a pupil behaviour emergency, says NASUWT, the Teachers’ Union.

Speaking at the union’s Annual Conference in Harrogate, National Executive Members for Wales, Mark Morris and Sharron Daly, have said there’s an urgent need for the Welsh Government to take action to safeguard teachers and pupils from escalating violent and abusive behaviour in schools.

A worrying 38% of teachers in Wales have reported experiencing violence or physical abuse from a pupil in the past year, underlining a growing crisis in classroom safety.

The issue of pupil behaviour and safety has recently come to the fore, with NASUWT members at Caldicot High School in Monmouthshire and Pencoedtre High School in Barry striking in protest.

These actions were driven by concerns over inadequate support from senior management and local authorities, highlighting a broader issue within the education system.

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

“We do not accept a situation in which teachers in Wales feel abandoned by their employers or by the Welsh Government and left alone to deal with serious episodes of pupil indiscipline and violence.

“Teachers did not sign up to become punch bags or referees in physical altercations between pupils. They have a right to feel and to be safe at work.

“Tackling these issues requires openness, transparency and honesty about the scale of the behaviour crisis.

“An all-Wales behaviour summit would, in our view, help to highlight the issues and develop a programme of solutions that will deliver the changes needed.”

Neil Butler, NASUWT National Official for Wales, said:

“Our teachers are operating in a hostile environment where they cannot teach and pupils cannot learn. Their calls for help are ignored. Many have chosen to leave the profession and we cannot recruit to replace them.

“The Welsh Government must open its eyes to the crisis unfolding in our schools. As a matter of urgency, we need funding for alternative provision and increased classroom support. Teachers should be empowered to deal with challenging behaviour through decreased class sizes and balanced workloads.

“Local councils and senior leaders are acting as if abusive pupil behaviour is not their problem. If we are to tackle these issues, we must do it together – teachers cannot be expected to cope alone.”

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