THERE is a teacher assault in Clydebank almost once a week, according to the education department.

A LibDem freedom of information request revealed there had been 31, 55, and 44 teacher assaults over the past three years in West Dunbartonshire.

Taking into account holidays, when kids aren’t at school, the shocking figures equate to almost an attack every single week.

Gil Paterson, Clydebank’s MSP, blasted the figures as “not acceptable”.

He said: “We need teachers to be able to not only teach our children to the best of their ability but to do so in an environment that is free from fear, therefore teachers being attacked is not acceptable in any shape or form.

“There is a responsibility for all of us involved and as elected members we need to continue to find ways to make sure teachers are protected.”

In 2019, the Post revealed West Dunbartonshire Council passed a new policy on seclusion and restraint of pupils who “exhibit distressed or challenging behaviour”.

The move came as a council committee heard evidence from a teaching representative that “attacks on teachers are happening daily and teachers don’t feel safe”.

Speaking about disruptive pupils, Gavin Corrigan previously told the council hearing: “Although it is a minority, it is an ever increasing number.

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“Some examples – and these are happening daily: teachers being kicked, teachers being spat on, being threatened, being attacked. And that’s not to do with any verbal abuse.”

Mr Corrigan suggested that pupils should take more responsibility for their actions.

He added: “From our experiences, what’s happening is this challenging behaviour or violent incidents, and there’s no consequences.

“A lot of what we’re hearing just now, a lot of schools, they don’t feel safe – they really don’t.”

A spokeswoman for West Dunbartonshire Council said: “West Dunbartonshire Council takes any incidence of aggression against staff extremely seriously.”

A spokesperson for teaching union EIS said a zero tolerance approach should be taken towards violence, and any incidents should be dealt with “swiftly”.

They added: “Pupils can display disruptive or aggressive behaviour for a wide range of reasons and it is important we take steps to understand the variable causes of that behaviour.

“Local authorities have a duty of care to all their employees and it is important they take the necessary steps to ensure that our schools are as safe as possible, without damaging the open and welcoming environment that our schools seek to provide.”

The Scottish Liberal Democrats’ education spokeswoman, Beatrice Wishart, said: “We will never be able to ensure that every child gets the best possible start in life unless we make sure that schools are places where both pupils and staff feel comfortable, confident and ready to learn.”