Two thirds of teachers say pupils assaulted each other in school in last term

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Two thirds of teachers say pupils have physically assaulted each other in their school in the last term, research shows.

A poll commissioned by the Youth Endowment Fund found that physical assaults are the most common type of violence in schools, with 67 per cent of teachers saying that a child had physically assaulted another child in their school in the past term.

Meanwhile, two in five teachers (43 per cent) said a child had physically assaulted a teacher or another staff member, and 15 per cent reported that a child had brought in a weapon.

The poll also showed that 12 per cent of teachers said sexual assaults had happened against another child, and one per cent said it had happened against a member of staff.

The Youth Endowment Fund on Monday brought out new guidance for schools in an effort to tackle violence.

It says that mentoring, sports and lessons on violence in relationships are some of the strategies schools can use to protect their pupils from violence.

In the first guidance of its kind for schools, the fund calls for more to be done to crack down on truancy, which could include offering children breakfast clubs, as well as providing children with trusted adult relationships through mentoring programmes.

Lessons that focus on relationship violence could also help cut violence levels, it said. The guidance also calls on schools to speak to pupils about where and when they feel less safe, and target their efforts at those places.

Jon Yates, of the Youth Endowment Fund, said: “We know what works when it comes to preventing violence, whether that’s therapies, mentoring or social skills training. Our first-of-its-kind guidance will help schools, colleges and Alternative Provision settings put this knowledge into practice.”

Gill LaRocque, headteacher at Saffron Valley Collegiate, a secondary school in Croydon, said: “When young people are facing difficulties in their lives, access to mental health support, therapies, family engagement and youth workers, can make the difference.”

To find out how common violence is in schools, the fund commissioned TeacherTapp to survey 9,600 teachers.

Despite incidents of violent behaviour, most teachers said they believe schools were a safe space.