Following on from our recent blog about whether teachers are given enough support against violent pupils, a survey by the NAHT school leaders’ union has suggested that as many as one in 10 head teachers have been physically assaulted by a pupil’s parent or carer.
The 1,000 head teachers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland who were surveyed said that they have been punched, spat on, kicked, head butted, bitten or sexually assaulted by angry parents.
Russell Hobby, General Secretary at NAHT, has said that it is likely that this behavior stems from the fact that school leaders often have to make difficult decisions about discipline, exclusions, holidays and the distribution of limited budgets. Unsurprisingly, this puts them in the firing line and they become prime targets when a student’s legal guardian disagrees with a decision that has been made.
The survey also revealed that almost 75% of respondents have suffered verbal abuse or threats from parents in the past five years and 86% think that parents’ behavior towards teachers has worsened.
Although these figures are worryingly high, Mr Hobby has said that the vast majority of families are a pleasure to work for, most people are aware that physical assault against a teacher is a criminal offence and action is taken when needed.
As a teacher, have you ever had to deal with an angry parent or carer? How did you deal with the situation and how does your school take action if needed?