The union for school support staff has called on councils and schools to sign a charter of key demands to help prevent violence against support staff in schools.
GMB London Region made 13 freedom of information requests and found that there had been 1,594 cases of physical assault against school support staff.
The union’s members have reported that they have been punched, spat at, kicked and suffered intimidating verbal and sexual abuse.
The charter from the GMB demands, among other things, that all staff are treated fairly and equally, regardless of perceived status or grade.
It also calls for negotiated and agreed policies and procedures for reducing the risk of violence as much as possible.
‘School support staff care passionately about the role they undertake within schools and want to carry on doing their best for the children, however, all they are asking is that when they have been subjected to physical or verbal assault, that the school will support them and take a common sense approach to protect them,’ said Keith Williams, GMB senior organiser.
‘By signing up to the GMB Charter, headteachers and councils would send a clear message, that violence in schools in any shape or form will not be tolerated, and would demonstrate that they are fully backing support staff, and that they would take appropriate measures when staff have been subjected to this behaviour.’