Union are wrong to claim teacher assaults in Moray are high

Reports claims teaching staff are facing an increased risk of assault

MORAY COUNCIL HAS dismissed a trade union report that appears to highlight a high number of physical or verbal attacks on teaching staff over the last year.

Unison has published a study that they say highlights assaults on public service workers in the workplace throughout Scotland had risen by 1227 – leading to their members feeling “under-valued, frightened and disrespected”.

The study shows that throughout schools in the Highlands 641 members of staff had been attacked over the twelve month period – 414 of those recorded in Moray, greater than the 396 recorded in neighbouring Aberdeenshire.

While a spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said that they treated each and every attack on a member of staff seriously, adding that any cases are dealt with appropriately “ensuring the safety and wellbeing of both pupils and teachers”, a spokesman for Moray Council disputed the figures.

According to the P&J newspaper, the Moray spokesman said that the vast majority of instances had involved children with assisted support needs, adding that “it would be wrong to claim that assaults on staff was high”.

The spokesman added: “For our young people with complex needs, physical contact is often the only way they can communicate and every such instance must be logged.”

Unison’s health and safety committee chairman said that none of their members should have to experience attacks as part of their work, adding: “This level of violence is simply unacceptable, the problem is clearly growing rather than decreasing.”

The full Unison report can be found online.