ALMOST a quarter of teachers in Yorkshire and Humberside are experiencing physical violence from pupils at least once a week or more, according to a survey by the teachers' union, the NASUWT.

Five per cent said they were attacked on a daily basis and nine out of ten said they had suffered physical or verbal abuse from pupils over the last 12 months.

A third said they had been been hit, punched or kicked, and 40 per cent said they had been shoved or barged, and nearly half said they experienced anxiety, depression or stress, and eight out of ten said the abuse from pupils had affected their morale and enthusiasm for their job.

The physical and verbal abuse from pupils has driven half of teachers to seriously consider leaving the profession or they are planning to leave teaching shortly, said the union.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:“No teacher should ever have to go to work with the expectation of being verbally or physically abused, but it is clear from this survey that for too many teachers this is the day-to-day reality.

“Pupil indiscipline is now second only to workload in teachers’ concern about their job and is a contributory factor to the teacher recruitment and retention crisis.

“It is simply unacceptable that employers are failing in their legal duty of care to provide a safe working environment.

“Why is it that hospitals, job centres, railway stations and many other workplaces are now littered with posters in which employers make clear that abuse of staff will not be tolerated and yet the most teachers get is fault finding and blame.

“The school system is riven with poor and unacceptable employment practices that are putting teachers at risk and ultimately driving them out of the profession.

“Teachers provide one of the most important public services and they deserve better.”