Classroom Assistants in Leeds Schools Assaulted Over 2,000 Times In Two Years.

29 Jun 2011

Classroom Assistants in Leeds Schools Assaulted over 2,000 Times In Two Years  

Following the shock statistics revealed in May this year detailing the fact that 932 teachers had been physically assaulted since January 2009, the GMB union has unearthed shocking new figures showing that 2,243 school support staff have been physically assaulted in Leeds classrooms during the same period.

Using the Freedom of Information Act the GMB union, which represents nearly 4,000 school support staff in Leeds, has established that there were 2,243 physical assaults reported, 191 cases of verbal abuse reported, and 351 cases of both verbal and physical assault. (Information received from Leeds Children’s Services - FoI request received 27th of June 2011)
1,914 incidents of either verbal abuse or physical attacks were reported in Specialist Inclusive Learning Units and Pupil Referral Units, SILCS and PRUS in Leeds provide schooling for pupils with behavioural issues and emotional needs.

Bill Chard, GMB lead officer for schools in Yorkshire & North Derbyshire, said “More than twice as many school support staff were assaulted than teachers during the same period. Many of the staff working in the SILCS earn only £10,000 a year and classroom assistants earn as little as £7 an hour. You should not fear going into work worrying whether you will get bitten or kicked.  I have spoken to groups of our members in the SILCS who have told me that when they complain to their managers about continuing levels of attacks and abuse they are told that this type of thing comes with the territory. That approach is completely unacceptable and so is this ridiculously high number of assaults on teaching assistants.”

Classroom based support staff are exposed to more violence than most other jobs in the UK according to a new GMB study, coming below police and prison officers but above security guards and related occupations.  There are three incidents a month of educational assistants suffering major injuries involving violence, eg fractures and dislocations. (Source: HSE injuries to workers by specific education occupation codes 2009/2010 UK).

This government is proposing that local government workers continue in employment until they are aged 66 before receiving their pension.

Bill Chard continued, “Eton or Winchester public schoolboys like Cameron and Clegg haven’t got a clue about life for staff in schools like these; it is a disgrace that they expect staff who are mainly women to be dealing with these sorts of incidents well into their sixties.”

For further comment contact Bill Chard on 07958 156 838 or 0845 337777

Violence In Schools.pdf
Freedom of Information.doc