FIGURES showing there have been nearly 90 assaults on school staff by pupils in Wrexham schools in the last three years have been branded “shocking”.
A Freedom of Information request by the Leader revealed the last three complete school years has seen 87 physical assaults on teachers and other staff by pupils.
Youngsters have been excluded from school for a total of 416 days as a result of the assaults.
Thirty one of the assaults happened at primary or junior schools.
Figures from Wrexham Council show in the 2010-11 academic year there were 33 pupils who committed physical assaults on school staff, including seven in junior and primary schools, 12 in secondary schools for 11 to 16-year-olds and four in secondary schools for 11 to 18-year-olds.
In 2011-12 there was a fall to 22 incidents of physical assaults. In that year there were seven assaults at primary and junior schools, 10 at secondary schools for 11 to 16-year-olds and one at secondary schools for 11-18-year-olds. One incident at an 11-16-year-old secondary school in the 2011-12 year led to a pupil being excluded for 40 days.
During the 2012-2013 school year there were another 32 assaults. Seventeen of these were at primary schools, nine at secondary schools for 11 to 16-year-olds and two at secondary schools for 11 to 18-year-olds.
David Hytch, education union ATL’s North Wales secretary, said: “It is appalling this happens at all and clearly it is an issue of major concern.Physical and verbal assaults are unacceptable in schools and it is a problem.
“When you go to a hospital you are told by signs to respect the staff or you are out and we don’t do that in schools. Incidents of this kind of behaviour are worrying.
“We have to remind the education authorities, headteachers and governors they have a duty to protect there staff. The exclusion figures show action is being taken, but it doesn’t stop the assaults from happening.
“I welcome the action but what we need to do, and it won’t be easy, is create a situation where it doesn’t happen in the first place.”
Mr Hytch said while he suspects the physical assaults are most likely low on the violence scale it still should not happen and teachers should be able to go to work and do their job in safety.
David Hughes, who is a governor at Rhosnesni High School, said: “I’m shocked and appalled.
“We have a duty of care to both staff and pupils.
“As a governing body we would look on this as very serious, you can’t have pupils attacking staff as much as you can’t have staff attacking pupils.
“That hasn’t come to us at Rhosnesni, but if it was to happen then the appropriate action would be taken and I would hope the local education authority would support us in the actions we would take. Physical violence will not be condoned in any shape or form.”
Wrexham Council was unavailable for further comment.