THE violence is appalling to watch. One girl unleashes a fusillade of punches and kicks to the head of another girl in a classroom at Anstruther’s Waid Academy.

In a video now widely circulated on social media and raised in Holyrood, a girl is seen launching a violent attack on another pupil. The attacker’s parents claim their daughter ‘snapped’ after months of bullying. It’s visual proof of what Scottish teachers have been saying for years: that violence in schools is out of control, and discipline is a joke.

Teachers at Glasgow’s Bannerman High walked out at the end of last year protesting about violence by pupils. Staff at a school in Aberdeen voted to strike due to violence and intimidation.

There were more than 22,000 incidents of violence in Scottish schools last year, mostly against teachers and classroom assistants.

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We must not get lost in the visceral ugliness of what’s happening. While condemning any violence and all bullying, we need also to look for the systemic root of what’s gone so dreadfully wrong.

A clear example of the failure that lies at the heart of violence and disorder was revealed this week, with Glasgow City Council proposing brutal cuts on schools. More than 800 teaching posts could be axed. Primary schools would also close early on Fridays. Classroom assistants - vital to keeping order - lab technicians, school psychologists and mentoring programmes are all at risk, as is dyslexia support. The council faces a £68 million hole in its budget. So it’s teachers and children who go into the firing line.

Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP - which runs Glasgow - have told us to judge them on their record when it comes to education. Well the judgement has been clear for some time: utter failure.

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