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Survey reveals the threat to teachers Almost a third suffer verbal abuse.

Byline: Margaret O'Reilly and Greg Truscott

ALMOST a third of Welsh teachers say they have suffered verbal abuse from parents and many have been physically attacked.

A new survey reveals bad behaviour in schools is a growing problem with parents causing more trouble than pupils.

The teachers' web site, justforteachers. co. uk, commissioned the research and has called for better training for classroom staff in coping with problem parents.

The study follows an attack on Cardiff teacher Dewi Jones, who was left with a suspected broken nose and stitches.

Parent David James Hocking, of Caerau Road, Ely, pleaded guilty to assaulting the Glyn Derw High School head at Cardiff Crown Court on Oct 22. He will appear before Swansea Crown Court for sentence on November 27.

Geraint Davies, regional secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers in Wales, said teachers needed greater protection rather than training and called on the assembly to issue tough new guidelines.

Nearly one in 20 British teachers who responded to the survey said they had been physically attacked by an irate parent and almost half said their authority had been undermined by interfering parents. Almost all those questioned said that parents were harder to control than pupils.

A third of teachers have had their teaching methods criticised by parents disappointed by their children's results.

In Wales, 32 per cent complained of verbal abuse in front of colleagues and five per cent were shouted at in front of their pupils.

Henny Fordham, editor of justforteachers, said:

"Teachers have to cope with stresses throughout their working lives: unruly pupils; long working hours and badly behaved mums and dads. They have not been trained to deal with problem parents and this is an issue that must be addressed."
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 23, 2001
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