Zero tolerance for assaults on school teachers

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Figures released by West Lothian and Falkirk Councils relating to assaults on school teachers are encouraging with an overall drop.

During the period August 2011 to July 2012 West Lothian Council recorded the highest number of assaults at 108.

This figure then dropped substantially between August 2012 to July 2013 to a record low of 43 incidents.

However, the latest figures for the 2013/14 school year record a slight increase with 54 assaults taking place.

A spokesman for the council said: “We are committed to the establishment of an inclusive, non-violent school community.

“We support schools and their staff in creating an atmosphere of respect and good order, in which pupils and staff feel safe and secure, with zero tolerance of violence to staff or pupils.

“It is encouraging that the number of assaults on teachers by pupils has dropped substantially in recent years.”

Falkirk Council, which takes in the Bo’ness schools, released figures which showed 110 assaults on teaching and ancillary staff were recorded in the period 2011/12.

This fell to 77 cases in the school year 2012/13 with yet a further fall in the figures last year to July 2014 with 68 assaults noted.

A Falkirk Council spokesman said: “We do not record the degree of physical agression or intent involved in these incidents.

“These figures will include minor or unintentional incidents which occur when dealing with very young children and those with additional support needs.

“While we welcome the drop in reported incidents, we still treat all incidents seriously and ensure that training is provided to staff on how to intervene and de-escalate behavioural risk.”

Neither council were able to furnish details of cases which may have merited a police involvement at the time of going to press.