NEARLY a third of teachers in the North-East are experiencing physical violence from pupils at least once a week or more, a union survey has found.

NASUWT – the Teachers’ Union, also said the results show seven per cent of North-East teachers saying they are attacked on a daily basis. The survey found that more than eight in ten have suffered physical or verbal abuse from pupils over the last 12 months. 90 per cent of teachers have been sworn at, while more than half (53 per cent) have been verbally threatened.

A third of teachers have been hit, punched or kicked, and 45 per cent have been shoved or barged. Ten per cent have been spat at, and three per cent have been head-butted. More than a third report having had their property damaged. Nearly half experienced anxiety, depression or stress.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said: “No teacher should ever have to go to work with the expectation of being verbally or physically abused, but it is clear from this survey that for too many teachers this is the day-to-day reality.

“Pupil indiscipline is now second only to workload in teachers’ concern about their job and is a contributory factor to the teacher recruitment and retention crisis.

“It is simply unacceptable that employers are failing in their legal duty of care to provide a safe working environment.”

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “Teachers and school staff have a right to be safe while doing their jobs and any form of misconduct, particularly violence towards them, is completely unacceptable.

"The majority of schools provide a safe environment for pupils and teaching staff, and it’s important that they remain as such.

"We are committed to tackling bad behaviour in schools have made great strides in empowering teachers to tackle this issue and have recently announced a £10m investment to support schools to share best practice in behaviour management.”