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50 People a Year Attacked in Cornwall's Schools

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3:31pm 29th April 2014
(Updated 3:31pm 29th April 2014)

Pirate FM has learnt there are 50 attacks on staff in Cornwall's schools every year.

That is one member of staff a week.

That includes by pupils and parents.

Most of the violence happens in primary schools.

The council insists the majority of it is minor and does not end up with students being excluded.

Jason Harrison offers counselling to teachers, he said: "Teachers we speak to on our helpline tell us there is a real threat of violence in schools, so 49 percent of the teachers we surveyed said they had been assaulted or threatened with assault."

Youth worker Nick Mason tries to stop kids getting into trouble, he doesn't want airport-style scanners brought in, he said: "They use them to some good affect in places like America, but I think over here the culture is different and we don't expect to be stopped and searched on a regular basis going in and out of school, and I think we need to recognise that the vast majority of schools are incredibly safe learning environments."

Cornwall Council says many incidents in the Duchy's schools are minor and are not a significant concern but it adds that every one is taken seriously.

Cathy Wallis from Rillaton is junior vice chair of the NAS/UWT. She told Pirate FM she has dealt with cases where teachers have been hit, lunged at with scissors and had chairs thrown at them: "Cornwall's figures are very good but even saying that, one case of assault against a teacher is one too many and I know that the local authority and all of the unions are working together to address this."

She agrees that many cases are minor but says teachers need more support: "We need to make sure that every single occasion is addressed properly. There's been quite a trend towards teachers not being seen as the person that they need to respect in the classroom. Respect has to be earned, it is not automatic. But even so, with the way that the government for example denigrates teachers on a daily basis, this doesn't help in the classroom. That hasn't helped the overall picture of teachers, what they should be doing and their role in the classroom."

3:31pm 29th April 2014

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