Violence by pupils in Scottish schools is being massively under-reported it is claimed

Parents will be “deeply alarmed” by reports suggesting the accurate scale of violence in schools is being under-reported. It has emerged that secondary schools in one council area “don’t report at all”.

The revelation backs up longstanding claims by teaching unions that staff are “dissuaded” from reporting violent incidents because of a “culture of fear” instilled by heads and education bosses, who might want to keep the figures low to protect school reputations and please Holyrood ministers.

The SNP Government claims the “big picture” shows that schools are safe, with Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth claiming new research found “generally good behaviour amongst pupils”. However, the same research found no “consistent approach across school and local authority levels”.

A new report shows Stirling Council officials were concerned about “low reporting in secondary schools” in 2022/23. One council official said, “Clearly, the inconsistency of reporting impacts the validity of our data. Only one secondary school reports regularly, and most incidents tend to be low-level. Some secondary schools don’t report at all.”

Scotland on Sunday uncovered the email via a freedom of information request. Stirling Council received 785 incident reports from schools last year, of which 486 were related to staff injury. Of those, 217 were in additional support needs (ASN) settings, 192 were in primaries, 66 were in nurseries, and 11 were in secondary schools.

Last year, one school in Glasgow saw its teaching staff take strike action, not for better pay or more holidays but because they felt unsafe at work. The local council and Holyrood government ignored their plight.

We have seen a continual rise in anti-social behaviour over the last decades, not just among younger members of society. Some commentators blame the COVID lock-downs, but this deterioration in civil behaviour was happening even before then,

We have created a society where the individual’s rights trump the group’s well-being, leading to a no-consequence society (Negative Freedom) where too much individual freedom hurts others’ freedoms. This is especially true for younger people or those seen as “disadvantaged “in some way.

It is nearly impossible for teachers to maintain discipline in schools. Without that discipline being enforced, we see an environment where everyone’s education will suffer, leading to poorer outcomes for many pupils’ futures and our nation.

Teachers need to be able to report violence more efficiently and have those reports taken seriously. They also need to be supported to maintain discipline within the school environment. Parents must also play their part in maintaining discipline within their households, though successive governments have made this increasingly difficult.

We see many parents who, instead of helping the school authorities, will not accept that their children are in the wrong or that the school has the right to sanction them. That needs to be addressed! It appears to be part of a broader societal loss in respect for authority and a deterioration in civilised behaviour.

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