The teachers’ union (NASUWT) conference has heard harrowing stories of sexual abuse and violence directed at teachers by unruly pupils across the schools network in the UK.
British teachers face “derogatory sexualized” language in addition to violence and threats in the classroom, the NASUWT’s annual conference heard.
The NASWUT’s annual conference is taking place virtually (online) from Friday April 02 to Monday April 05.
A survey of over 4,700 union members found 38 percent had been verbally abused, and a further 10 percent threatened with violence in the last year.
The survey found that an additional 6 percent of teachers had been subjected to physical violence by pupils in 2020.
These shocking figures prompted NASUWT executive member, Wendy Exton, to proclaim: "We need to reclaim our classrooms, but we cannot do it alone".
Meanwhile, the NASUWT’s general secretary, Dr Patrick Roach, said the organization was “unequivocal” that teachers should not have to endure “any form of abuse” in the classroom or in an online teaching setting.
"The union is continuing to take steps, up to and including industrial action and refusal to teach ballots, where members report to us that serious pupil indiscipline or abuse is going unchallenged by their school", Dr Roach added.
This vocal expression of concern and alarm by teachers comes in the wake of a government review triggered by pupils posting stories online about sexual harassment and abuse by their peers.
The website Everyone's Invited has now collected more than 13,400 testimonies of pupils' experiences.