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Over 50% of school support staff suffer shocking violence including stabbings and attempted strangulations

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08 Sep 2018
Press Office

Press Office

More than half of school staff experience shocking violence at work – with more than 16% suffering attacks every week,  disturbing new GMB figures show.

Appalling assaults suffered by GMB members include stabbings, attempted strangulation and pupils trying to chop off a teaching assistant’s (TA’s) fingers with scissors.

In one horrifying case, a pregnant TA suffered a miscarriage after being kicked in the stomach.

These stories from the frontline by GMB’s school staff members are truly disturbing. They can face a litany of violence that would constitute criminal offences in other jobs.

Karen Leonard, GMB National Officer

Other members of staff have had faeces thrown at them, been spat at and had their hair cut off.

Parents have threatened school support staff, while school crossing patrol staff report cars being driven at them by angry motorists.

School support staff report terrible injuries from the attacks, including broken jaws, broken noses, knee replacements suspected heart attacks and broken necks.

GMB surveyed almost 5,000 school support staff.

More than 2,400 said they had experienced violence at work, with 778 saying they were attacked every week.*

Karen Leonard, GMB National Officer, said:

"These stories from the frontline by GMB’s school staff members are truly disturbing.

“They can face a litany of violence that would constitute criminal offences in other jobs.

“No-one should be physically threatened at work. Violence from parents in particular is completely inexcusable.

School support staff love their jobs, love the kids and want to carry on doing their best for the children.

Karen Leonard, GMB National Officer,

“School support staff love their jobs, love the kids and want to carry on doing their best for the children.

"All they ask is their school backs them up when it does happen - and takes the common-sense steps needed to protect them.

“Throughout this year we have been asking schools to sign up to GMB’s code of conduct to ensure attacks on members, when they happen, are dealt with properly."

* Contact GMB Press Office for further information on responses and case studies

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