School exclusion figures released for attacks on staff

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SCHOOLS in Calderdale exluded pupils in 295 cases of attacks against adults last year, according to new figures.

The total includes where pupils have been permanently excluded or temporarily suspended after physical assaults and verbal abuse against an adult in 2009/10.

In that year, there were 10,830 cases in schools in the Yorkshire and the Humber region.

Calderdale’s 295 is the third lowest count in the region, with Leeds schools topping the table at 1,999.

Barnsley had the lowest amount with 239.

The total for England was 86,770.

The figures were released by the Department for Education and analysed by the GMB, the union for school support staff.

The GMB is seeking talks with the DfE and Yorkshire education authorities to discuss proposals to reduce the “appalling” levels of assaults and abuse.

Neil Derrick, GMB senior organiser, said: “These figures for levels of physical assaults and verbal abuse by pupils against adults are appalling and quite unacceptable.

“School support staff are attacked as often as teachers. Staff should not fear going into work worrying about whether they will get bitten or kicked or verbally abused by pupils.”

The union believes the government’s advice on “use of reasonable force” is approaching the problem the wrong way.

Mr Derrick added: “Schools should try to stop assaults rather than allowing adults whacking the pupils during attacks.

“Training in behaviour management and bespoke restraint is essential. Additional staff may be needed in the most acute areas and wear necessary protective equipment. GMB members report that all training is failing due to funding constraints and release time.”