Teacher headbutted by pupil among dozens of school attacks in Kingston
A teacher taken to hospital after being headbutted by a pupil is among dozens in the borough who have been attacked in class.
The incident is one of 66 cases of teachers being attacked by their students in council-run schools in Kingston in the past three school years, a freedom of information request has revealed.
Nearly half of the incidents took place in primary schools.
There were 21 attacks last year, compared to 24 in 2010 and 21 in 2009.
Khawer Siddiqi, from the National Union of Teachers in Kingston, said this reflected a lack of respect for authority among some pupils.
He said: “I am talking just a handful of children. Most are well-behaved and respectful, but others have a real lack of respect for authority, which reflects in how they behave in school.
“Some think you are doing them a favour by behaving in class or educating them, rather than the other way round.”
The assault took place in 2009 and involved a 15-year-old boy with severe autism.
A distressed pupil lashed out at the female teacher, who was later found to have a broken nose and could not return to work for two weeks, having earlier been restrained by staff.
A primary school teacher working in a school in Kingston, who asked not to be named, said attacks on teachers were rare in Kingston compared to other London boroughs.
He said: “I have worked across London and seen numerous attacks on teachers, even in primary schools.
“While working in Kingston I have been the victim of a minor assault by a pupil, but on the whole it is very rare.
“Children who lash out are usually having trouble at home so depending on the seriousness of the attack we have found it is better to talk to the pupil to see what is going on rather than take too much of a disciplinary approach.”
The youngest child to attack a teacher was in reception class, aged between five and six, the statistics released by Kingston Council revealed.
The report concluded it was likely the incident involved the child kicking, punching or slapping the member of staff, though specific details were unavailable.
The report said most of the attacks involved pushing or shoving and that none of the incidents involved a weapon.