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Most School Staff Victims Of Attacks At Work

Sunday, June 4, 2017


Almost one in five experience violence every week, with more than half of the violence coming from children.

Shocking new figures from GMB show more than half of school support staff experience violence at work.

The disturbing statistics come from a nationwide survey of members, completed in time for GMB’s 100th Congress, which starts in Plymouth today.

They survey also reveals that:

- 18% of support staff experience violence on a weekly basis

- 30% have been injured by violence at school

- 14% of incidents are not recorded, while in 22% of cases the victim doesn’t know if it was recorded or not

- 57% of violence comes from pupils

Incidents highlighted in the study including members of staff being strangled, punched, kicked, having tables and chairs thrown at them and working in fear of violent gangs marauding the school corridors.

Some even suffered false allegations of abuse.

Effects cited by the victims include physical injury, stress, anxiety and depression.

One respondent, who asked not to be named, said:

“I was extremely shocked and frightened and feel emotionally exhausted.

“I am very worried this child will attempt to attack me again.

“I have said I don’t want the child anywhere near me.”

Another added:

“Heads and senior management should show that they are backing their staff by setting appropriate measures when a pupil shows signs of violence.

“Will it take a death before schools take notice?

“Maybe this is a factor why so many teachers leave the profession.”

GMB, the union for school support staff, is determined to put a stop of the violence.

Karen Leonard, GMB National Officer, said:

“No one should have to put up with being attacked while at work – and our members are no different.

“The results of this survey make truly disturbing reading, with teaching assistants, caretakers, lunch time supervisors and more experiencing shocking levels of violence.

“Many are left with terrible mental and physical scars.

“GMB demands a zero tolerance approach to violence in schools – with proper, reliable support systems in place for those who do experience it.


Contact: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at

Notes to editors:

Contact the Press Office for a redacted version of the survey results

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