Summit on Violent Pupil Behaviour

Created on: 30 Aug 2023

The EIS has welcomed the announcement that the Scottish Government is to set up a summit on violent behaviour by pupils in schools.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley said, "The EIS welcomes the announcement from Cabinet Secretary Jenny Gilruth that the Scottish Government is to hold a summit on the issue of violent behaviour in schools.

"While incidents of serious indiscipline and violence are still comparatively rare in our schools, there has been a marked increase in the number reported in recent years. It is, therefore, welcome that the Scottish Government is now seeking ways of addressing this worrying increase in reported violent incidents in our schools."

Ms Bradley continued, "It is essential that Scotland's teachers and their unions play an active part in this summit, to ensure that an accurate picture is presented as to the scale and complexity of the problem in our schools.

"Real solutions, including additional resources must be forthcoming, and quickly. Schools must be safe places to learn and to teach, safe spaces for students and staff alike, not least because health and safety legislation requires it. The impact of the pandemic on young people, coupled with the continuing scourge of poverty and the huge increase in the number of young people requiring specialist additional support, including mental health support, have combined to create an environment where anxiety, frustration and disaffection can potentially fester.

"Teachers want to deliver the best outcomes for all young people, but they require the support and resources to allow them to meet the diverse needs of all young people effectively and must not be put at personal risk as they do so."

Ms Bradley added, "This summit is an important first step, with which Scotland’s teachers will be keen to engage. It must not be just a 'talking shop', set up to give the appearance of taking action.

"This summit must produce tangible results to ensure the safety of all in our schools and improve the learning and teaching environment for students and staff alike. The EIS is now awaiting further detail from the Scottish Government on how this event will proceed."