Almost 57% of teachers have encountered aggression from students and over a quarter from parents and carers, causing them to suffer stress, anxiety or depression.
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) surveyed over 1,500 members teaching in state schools last term and described the level of poor behaviour as “shocking”, the BBC reports. ATL’s Dr Mary Bousted called for firm and consistent discipline policies in schools but said that “many students have chaotic home lives that would cause most adults to lose their temper occasionally.”
84% of teachers who experienced aggression said that they had faced verbal insults, 70% threats and 45% physical violence, usually pushing or shoving but also being kicked or punched. Over half said that behaviour had become worse over the last two years.
Sadly, only 37% of teachers in the survey said they felt totally happy about the way their school dealt with aggression.
40% of teachers believe that the behaviour of parents and carers has worsened. “You need to be a ‘tough cookie’ to deal with abusive parents. I found it a challenge to ask a father to leave because he was swearing at staff in front of nursery children, but the other parents stayed on to make sure I was OK and looked out for me,” a primary teacher said.
As a result of this behaviour 60% of teachers have lost confidence in their work and 40% have considered leaving the profession.
Have you experienced aggressive behaviour from pupils or parents and if so how has it affected you?