Education Secretary urged to take urgent action on school violence | #schoolsaftey

READ MORE: Education: MSPs briefed on increasing pupil violence towards teachers

The union leader said: “Behaviour summits are well and good, the opportunities to talk are really important.

“But we need to see concrete intervention in the form of additional resource to support young people and teachers in the classroom and we need to see that support arrive urgently.”

Ms Bradley said there was a “need for urgent action to reduce the violence and distress behaviour in our schools”, insisting this was now an “an increasing health and safety risk for teachers, physically mentally and emotionally”.

With the EIS analysing data gathered from some of its 65,000 plus members, she added, saying more details of this would be published in the coming weeks but that the “early headlines are eye watering”.

She said: “We will be sharing the full report from the research in a few weeks time.”

Her comments came as she also called on the Scottish Government to take action to reduce the number of hours teachers spend in the classroom each week.

The SNP manifesto for the last Holyrood elections in 2021 had promised to reduce teacher class contact time to 21 hours a week, she noted.

Ms Bradley said: “The majority of teachers in Scotland are currently working the equivalent of a day a week extra unpaid every single week.

“But 2023 is nearly over and teachers are still waiting for the 2021 manifesto promise to be kept, for their working conditions to more closely resemble their counterparts in the rest of the OECD.

“Scotland has the third highest rate of class contact time for its teachers in the world, and this is not a good league table to be topping.

“Teachers in Scotland need the Government to deliver its promise and confirm that 90 minutes a week will be given to teachers for preparation and marking.”

While teachers this year agreed a pay deal after taking strike action, Ms Bradley warned there was “still some way to go” on salaries.

READ MORE: Abuse in Scottish classroom ‘is on rise due to restorative justice’

The EIS general sectretary said: “Unfortunately, strikes proved necessary to deliver the pay rise that teachers needed and beyond a shadow of a doubt very much deserved.

“There’s still some way to go to restore teachers’ salaries to the real terms value they held in 2008 and to bring the salaries of the teaching profession in Scotland more closely in line with the earnings of colleagues in other graduate professions.

“There’s still a way to go to have that parity of esteem.”

Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth, who was also at the event, said the Scottish Government wanted to “reset” it relationship with teachers following a “pretty tumultuous time in relation to industrial action”.

Ms Gilruth, a former teacher, told the meeting she had previously taken strike action and was aware it was not something teachers took lightly.

“I took industrial action in 2011 when the EIS had a strike over pensions, and I remember that feeling of being out on strike and then coming back to school and how challenging that was.

“So I know teachers don’t take industrial action lightly and that must have been a really challenging time for the profession.”

She added she was looking to looking to “reform” and “recalibrate the relationship with Scotland’s teachers”.

Ms Gilruth said: “I think that’s really important, I think it needs to be reset and rebuilt from the ground up.”

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