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School staff in Aberdeen attacked every three days last year

There were more than 100 attacks on school staff in Aberdeen last year.
There were more than 100 attacks on school staff in Aberdeen last year.

School staff in Aberdeen were attacked once every three days in 2020 – despite pupils spending a large chunk of the year out of the classroom.

New figures obtained using Freedom of Information powers show there were 113 incidents at schools across the city last year.

The number of attacks on education workers is less than the 266 recorded in 2019 – but pupils spent several months learning from home last year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Northfield Academy had the highest number of incidents with 33, while 17 attacks occurred at Heathryburn School. There were a further 13 at Kirkhill School.

There were also 10 incidents of pupils taking weapons into school in 2020.

Northfield Academy had the highest number of incidents.

The figures have provoked calls for teachers and other school staff to get greater protection.

Conservative candidate Liam Kerr, who is the party’s justice spokesman, said the recommendations of the Independent Panel on Career Pathways for Teachers should also be implemented to improve retention and improve employment conditions.

“It’s extremely concerning that teachers are subjected to any form of assault, no matter how minor it may appear,” he said.

“Under the SNP, teacher numbers have fallen with staff moving away from the profession – that’s something we simply don’t want to happen.

“It’s also vital we don’t demonise pupils. Support must be given to them to understand why these attacks are happening – it’s a process where we all have to work together.

North-east Conservative candidate Liam Kerr.

“However, the figures are incredibly concerning and illustrate the negative impact cuts imposed on councils by the SNP Government have had in schools.

“Additional support staff also play a key part in assisting teachers to deal with such incidents which is why they also need to be our focus in ensuring schools are a safe place for everyone.

“There is a real risk of creating a lost Covid generation if issues like these persist along with curriculum catch up problems.

“This is why the Scottish Conservatives are committed to giving every child the opportunity to go to a good local school that is safe and has enough teachers to offer the range of subjects they need for their future.”

SNP chiefs insisted teacher numbers are at their highest point in 13 years – and pledged to continue to tackle those who assault school staff.

“Any attacks on teachers are abhorrent and the SNP will continue to work with schools and local authorities on how we can stop incidents like this happening,” a spokesman said.

“Teacher numbers are higher than at any time since 2008, while primary teacher numbers are the highest since 1980. We will continue to boost recruitment by 3,500., and as we do so it will help to reduce pressure and stress on teachers.

“The Tories have shown they cannot be trusted with teacher numbers – in England they have cut teacher numbers by 3,000. Only the SNP can be trusted with Scotland’s education.”

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