SNP ministers will be told to draw up a “comprehensive plan” to halt violence in schools after a number of videos emerged showing attacks from pupils.

Teachers and staff in Scotland’s schools faced more than 22,000 incidents of violence in 2021/22.

Conservatives will hold a debate on the issue at Holyrood tomorrow, calling on the Scottish Government to “address this matter urgently by collecting data”.

The party will call for SNP ministers to “work with parents, schools, local authorities and unions to establish a nationwide school violence working group, that will produce a national framework for reporting instances of violence and disruption within schools”.

The Tories also want the guidance on exclusion laws and policies to be updated, as well as measures introduced to “ensure pupil support assistants are available and issue materials that will support parents and schools, assisting them in promoting acceptable behaviour and tackling violence and disruption”.

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Speaking before the Tory debate, the party’s education spokesman Stephen Kerr said: “The escalation of violent incidents in schools in recent years is nothing short of a national scandal.

“The SNP have taken their eye off the ball on this issue and violent incidents have soared as a result.”

He added: “The Scottish Conservatives are using our party business on Wednesday to urge ministers to produce a comprehensive plan to address this crisis of violence which has become endemic in our schools.

“We will urge the setting up of a school violence working group as well as a review of current exclusion policies would be positive steps forward to get on top of this serious issue.

“Ministers must also provide parents and schools with guidance, materials and support that would assist them in promoting acceptable behaviour and tackling disruption.

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“If education really is the SNP’s number one priority, then they will back the calls made by the Scottish Conservatives during our debate to ensure that everyone in our schools is free from the risk of their learning being disrupted by violence.”

SNP Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth last week told the NASUWT teaching union conference in Aberdeen that youngsters are “struggling” in the wake of the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis.

She added: “The graphic videos that we’ve seen in the press in recent times… are completely unacceptable.

“But we need to recognise that our schools are dealing with real challenges at the current time.

“There is no place for that type of behaviour in our schools.

“I think it’s also true today that our young folk are struggling.”

Ms Gilruth said there has been a “huge increase” in young people with additional support needs.

She added: “I want to work with you on how we can better support staff wellbeing but also meet the needs of our pupils.

“And when behaviour is challenging, I expect there to be policies in place in every school in Scotland to help support our pupils and support you, our staff.”

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Responding to comments from the Tories on Tuesday, Ms Gilruth insisted that “any form of violence in our schools is completely unacceptable”.

She said: “It is clear that teachers need support to respond to challenging behaviour, but it is also clear to me that examples of extreme events reported in the press must be treated very carefully. We are, after all, talking about children.

“In my experience as a former teacher, there can be a range of different factors which impact on a child’s behaviour in school. More often than not those factors are external to the school community and teachers are skilled professionals in defusing challenging scenarios on a daily basis.”

“Covid has changed the culture in our schools – in part that relates to behaviour – but we need to look more broadly at things like attendance particularly in those year groups who faced transition periods, for example primary to secondary, during lockdown.”

She added: “I am determined to ensure that teachers and all school staff are better supported to deal with behaviour in our schools, including reporting of incidents.

“We will continue to engage with trade unions and, later this year, we will publish updated material showing the national picture in relation to this issue.”