In our exclusive report, we revealed that the latest teacher survey, carried out by the EIS trade union, had laid bare the reality of violent and aggressive behaviour in Scotland’s schools.

The new data reveals that such incidents have increased in both regularity and severity, and suggests that they are now a daily occurrence in many schools.

Alongside the statistics, the survey also provided extensive commentary from teachers explaining the situations they are facing in their own words.

On whether teachers receive enough support following incidents of violence or aggression:

“Violent incident forms are repeatedly submitted with no further actions taken place.”

“Extreme incidents are becoming so common that verbal incidents are not dealt with as they should be.”

“Staff feel discouraged from reporting incidents, don't always receive feedback or support after an incident has occurred and worry about being seen as weak by SMT.”

“The absolute reliance on restorative conversations aren't working. There needs to be consequences when these incidents take place; currently it doesn't feel like this happens.”

On whether pupils are well-supported after being victims of violence or aggression:

“Well supported by staff and HT although council policies tie the hands of SLT from dealing with incidences effectively so that they don't happen again. The perpetrator is often catered to more than the victim.”

“Restorative conversations take place after the incidents. Children will be asked to apologise and move on. It is difficult to know if the children feel truly supported and the longer term psychological impact of such incidents.”

“Support is not consistent. Often dependent on the level of pressure from parents/guardians.”

“We have had several incidents where victims have chosen to change schools rather than have to interact with an aggressor. Sometimes classes are changed to separate pupils, but this is as likely to negatively affect the victim as the aggressor. There is some concern among members that victims are not put first when there are competing priorities.”

On facing violence and aggression from parents and carers:

“Members would like to see a policy/process/guidelines drawn up for managers to assist them in delivering consistent support to affected colleagues. Members also feel that they should not be required to engage further with those parents.”

“The branch believes violence towards teachers in the workplace should be an immediate police referral. In no other workplace would this be acceptable.”

“There is frequently the attitude that we should give the parents what they want even if we don't really have the staffing or resources to do this and the other pupils suffer. It would be good if teachers were listened to and be able to give their side of the story and a compromise decided on. Teachers are often left feeling that they are in the wrong and they get no respect.”

On the factors driving the current issues with violence and aggression:

“So many young people receiving minimal support for conditions that can lead to emotional dysregulation (for example) and being expected to manage this in a class of 30 without any additional support in the class. Not enough PSAs to go round. Teachers not having the time or space in their timetable to offer individualised support themselves. Lots of young people with undiagnosed conditions due to NHS waiting lists for CAMHS.”

“More children with more complex needs and less support and less resources in an environment not equipped to meet their needs.”

“A lot of our incidents are made worse because our continually increasing amount of children with ASN have unmet needs.”

“The drive to the 'presumption of mainstreaming' without reduced class sizes creates difficulties in managing such incidents of violence & aggression”

“Staffing has been continually cut. Budgets have been continually cut. The building (and ours is fairly new) does not lend itself to meet all the pupil's needs. We do not have the staffing, resources and suitable environment to meet a wide range of pupil's needs.”

On the impact on teaching and learning:

“Teachers are firefighting and are unable to 'teach' the way they intend to.”

“Affects pace of learning and enthusiasm of other pupils. Affects ability to build relationships with all pupils - less time available for rest of class and may have to be more strict than otherwise.”

“Pupils and staff simply don't feel safe at times. Even incidents in other rooms impact across the school as staff are shifted to fire fight incidents.”

“We have had pupils that have been so anxious that they have not come to school, in some cases we have had pupils removed by parents and moved to other schools. This is due to children feeling so unsafe in their classrooms.”

“Children are traumatised by regular instances of violence in the class, and no longer view school as a safe place. Children who come from backgrounds of domestic violence can be triggered and retraumatised when witnessing violence at school. Learning time is lost to resolving incidents, providing first aid, and helping children to feel safe again.”

On the impact on teachers themselves:

“Staff wellbeing very low, multiple members of staff looking for new jobs. Previous staff members have left the profession completely.”

“In the last six months, two staff have had to attend hospital following violent incidents from pupils, both resulting in broken bones.”

“Multiple teachers are medicated.”

“Teachers are looking for a way out. No work life balance.”

“Many members have resorted to working reduced days and looking for alternative employment. Long term sickness is increasing.”