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One in four teachers in East Anglia have been punched or kicked by pupils

More than eight in 10 teachers in the East of England have been sworn at or verbally threatened by pupils, according to an NASUWT union survey. Picture: Getty Images

More than eight in 10 teachers in the East of England have been sworn at or verbally threatened by pupils, according to an NASUWT union survey. Picture: Getty Images

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Nearly nine in 10 teachers in the East of England have experienced physical or verbal abuse from their pupils in the past year.

Nearly a quarter (24pc) have been hit, punched or kicked, 36pc have been shoved or barged and 4pc have been spat at, while 21pc reported having their property damaged.

More than one in five (22pc) of those polled by the NASUWT in the east said they were experiencing physical violence from students at least once a week.

The teaching union's survey also found 85pc had been sworn at and four in 10 (43pc) had been verbally threatened.

READ MORE: Teachers 'isolated and criticised' by bosses amid bullying crisis

This barrage of abuse from students is taking its toll on educators: more than four in five (83pc) of those questioned said it had sapped their morale and enthusiasm for their job and 43pc had experienced anxiety, depression or stress. Half (50pc) are planning to leave the profession soon or have seriously considered it due to abuse.

Many felt that support from their employer was lacking. Almost half (49pc) of teachers reported being made to feel that they were to blame for issues regarding poor pupil behaviour, while 40pc say the culture in their school is that verbal and physical abuse is part of the job and teachers should expect this behaviour.

Meanwhile some 73pc do not feel they have the resources of support to meet the behavioural needs of the pupils they teach.

Around half of teachers had reported incidents of abuse to their managers – of those who didn't, 75pc said it was because they felt nothing would be done about it.

Chris Keates, NASUWT general secretary, said the school system was “riven with poor and unacceptable employment practices” which were putting teachers at risk.

“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,” he said.

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