Exclusion, discipline required for learning


“Violence in the classroom is unacceptable, a way has to be found to make the classroom a place of learning,” said David McHutchon, leader of Sovereignty.

“The EIS has publicised data about violence on teachers in Aberdeen.  Political parties are reacting as if Aberdeen is a problem area that has suddenly appeared.  Violence, increasing over time, has been a factor in schools across Scotland.”

“A resolution was approved at the EIS[i] 2014 Annual General Meeting: “This AGM instructs Council to review and publish revised advice on working with violent and disruptive pupils and college students…..”  There is a whole series of policy papers on the topic of violence on the EIS website, one entitled Violence Towards Staff goes back 22 years to the EIS AGM 2002.”

David Besley, assistant secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), speaking on BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, said teachers are ending up with broken bones, visits to hospital and post-traumatic stress disorder due to increasing levels of violence they face at work, and teachers’ increasing mental health issues after long-term dealing with very aggressive situations in classes.

Mr McHutchon continued, “two years ago, a strike at Aberdeen’s Northfield Academy over pupil violence against staff was only just averted after meetings with the council.”

“Authorities are blaming staff shortages, social media and the pandemic.  They should look closer to home.”

“Pressure is on teachers not to exclude pupils.  There has been a history of pressure against exclusion coming from politicians, national and local, education authorities, education officials, promoted school staff forcing teachers in the class room to put up with misbehaviour in classrooms.  With the EIS reporting, across Scotland, an increase of 82.7%[ii] of violent, aggressive incidents every week against teachers over the last 4 years, it is time for exclusion to Specialist Units.”

“Consider the effect on the learning process.  One out of control school pupil means that every pupil in that class room is not getting the opportunity to learn, it is time to look after the willing and exclude the unwilling.”

“Consider the crisis in teacher retention, teachers are walking away.  One teacher said she was aware of probationer teachers leaving the profession almost immediately.”

“Control in the class is not with teachers, some pupils feel adults have no right to tell them what to do.  Teachers have also become more concerned about pupil complaints and belligerent parents.”

“Discipline is difficult as ways of applying woke, weak “restorative”, in class, approaches to punishment assume that an individual is interested in taking that punishment.  They are not working.” 

“Punishment needs to be quicker, firmer, and there should be proper record keeping of incidents.  School administration of violence complaints takes too long.”

“A ban on mobile phones in classrooms makes sense, they are a distraction to learning.”

The joint secretary of the Aberdeen EIS branch, said: “whatever has been put in place by Aberdeen City Council is simply not working. That’s reflected in the members comments, the statistics, and the escalating violence we’re seeing.”

He added: “I would say that there is drastic under reporting of violent and abusive incidents in schools in Aberdeen city.  SLT (senior learning teams) are under considerable pressure in terms of avoiding excluding pupils as the use of school exclusions is frowned upon by Abe.


[i] https://www.eis.org.uk/PoliciesandGuidance/ViolenceDisruption

[ii] https://www.eis.org.uk/pupil-behaviour/surveyresults