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NASUWT demands a summit to protect teachers and pupils from violence in Wales

TEACHERS in Wales urged the Welsh government today to convene an all-Wales summit to protect teachers and pupils from violent and abusive behaviour in the classroom.

NASUWT members at Caldicot High School, Monmouthshire, and Pencoedtre High School in Barry went on strike recently over issues with pupil behaviour and safety in the classroom.

The union’s general secretary Dr Patrick Roach said: “We do not accept a situation in which teachers in Wales feel abandoned by their employers or by the Welsh government. 

“An all-Wales behaviour summit would, in our view, help to highlight the issues and develop a programme of solutions that will deliver the changes needed.”

NASUWT national officer for Wales Neil Butler said: “Our teachers are operating in a hostile environment where they cannot teach and pupils cannot learn.

“Local councils and senior leaders are acting as if abusive pupil behaviour is not their problem. If we are to tackle these issues, we must do it together.

“The Welsh government must open its eyes to the crisis unfolding in our schools.”

An NASUWT survey showed that in the last 12 months in Wales 38 per cent of teachers had experienced violence in the classroom, with 43 per cent shoved or barged, 12 per cent hit or punched and 9 per cent kicked. 

A Welsh government spokesperson said: “Work is underway to further support the teaching workforce and enhance schools’ behaviour policies.

“While there are currently no plans for this to include a national summit, we regularly meet with unions and the wider education sector to discuss matters relating to workforce safety and wellbeing.”

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