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Teachers at Glasgow school threaten strike over 'failure to address violent pupil behaviour'

By Craig Williams

Teachers at a Glasgow school are threatening to strike amid allegations of a failure by Glasgow City Council to address pupils' 'violent and disruptive behaviour'.

The NASUWT teachers union has warned the council they will have "no option" but to consider taking such action at Bannerman High "if effective steps are not taken" to combat such behaviour "and protect the safety and welfare of teachers".

They note that teachers at the school in Baillieston have already "engaged in action short of strike action" since October 2021 over what they call " a failure of the employer to address persistent verbal and physical assaults and violence against staff from pupils".

Despite doing so, along with ongoing attempts by the union to work with school management, they allege that "incidents of violence, verbal abuse and intimidation against staff are continuing" at the school, which caters for over 1,000 pupils.

"In just the few weeks since the return after the Easter holidays six violent incident forms have been submitted by staff to management", they noted via a release published on their website.

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They added: "Behaviour policies, which were developed in consultation with the NASUWT, are not being followed by management at the school, with little effective action taken against pupils who are persistently disruptive.

"Staff report management consistently failing to attend and support them when serious incidents of violence or disruption occur and of allowing a culture where swearing at and disrespect towards staff is accepted, along with a refusal to follow rules around uniform and conduct."

The NASUWT teachers union has warned Glasgow City Council that they will have "no option" but to consider taking such action at Bannerman High. (Reach PLC)

The release also points out data obtained by the NASUWT via a FOI which reports 61 incidents of violence, aggression and challenging behaviour logged on the council's Health and Safety Management (HANDS) system in the past two academic years.

In a statement, Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said that teachers at the school "are increasingly worried for their personal safety and angry at the failure of their employer and Glasgow City Council to fulfil their duty to protect them and the majority of well-behaved pupils from violence and disruption".

He added that "the learning experiences of the majority of pupils are being undermined and disrupted" by what he calls the council's "failure to deal appropriately with the actions of a minority".

“All our members want is to be able to get on with their jobs free from the threat of violence and abuse at work", he added.

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In response, a spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council said: “We do not condone abuse of any sort – either verbal or physical – that is directed towards our teachers or school staff and who deserve to feel respected and safe in their work place.

“Young people who are not in school are not learning, and although exclusions are unavoidable in certain circumstances, our schools work with pupils to find out why they are behaving in such a way and find solutions to support any child in need.

“We will continue to work with unions and their members to make sure everyone feels valued and respected in their working environment and it is not true to say that the school management team are not supporting school staff.

“Any reported incidents are dealt with quickly and effectively and a resolution agreed.”

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Dive Deeper:
Teachers in Dundee and Glasgow vow to strike over principal teacher plans and 'violent' pupil behaviour
Faculty heads are set to replace specialist principal teachers while several violent incidents have been recorded since pupils returned after…
Teachers in two Scots cities vow to strike over 'violent' pupil behaviour
Several violent incidents have been recorded since pupils returned after the Easter break last month.
Teachers may strike over rise in pupil violence and plans to replace principals
TEACHERS at two local authorities could take strike action over rising incidents of violent behaviour and controversial plans to replace principal…
Glasgow train staff threaten to boycott rail line plagued by 'young team' violence
The union says it could only be a matter of time before a member of ScotRail staff is seriously injured…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Children evacuated from Glasgow primary school by police after bomb threat call
It's the second time in a matter of months that a Glasgow primary school has had to be evacuated due…
Rail staff could boycott Balloch to Glasgow line over safety fears
RMT regional organiser Mick Hogg issued the warning, as he outlined fears that it could only be a matter of…
Get all your news in one place