TEN women working in Calderdale schools were subjected to aggressive attacks in the last four months. Half the victims were physically assaulted while the others were verbally abused, a report to Calderdale Council’s employees forum reveals. Five of the aggressors were boys and three were parents. The incidents were reported to the council’s principal health and safety advisor between July 1 and October 31.
Nine of the victims worked in primary schools and included:
• A teaching support assistant who was attacked by a pupil who who stamped on her foot, scratched her face and arm and verbally abused her.
• A teacher who was pushed into a door frame and sworn at by a boy, causing bruising
• A special needs assistant who was smacked on the arm by a pupil she had asked to stay outside the classroom
• A teacher whose shoulder was hit twice on the shoulder when a pupil lunged to grab a book from her
A high school teacher was also attacked by a pupil who barged her with his shoulder, threw a ruler and swore at her.
A father made threats to one teacher and another dad verbally abused and swore at three more.
A mother also verbally abused and shouted at a learning mentor.
The report states that the cumulative effects of aggression and violence towards school staff can be costly due to time off, litigation and, in the worst-case scenario, a prosecution by the Health & Safety Executive.
The council’s prinicipal health and safety advisor Martin Allingham said in the report: “Council employees must not have to tolerate violence and aggression in the workplace. It is important to ensure that if there is a significant increase in reported acts of violence and aggression towards staff, the appropriate human, financial and other resources can be put in place.”