In recent years, there has been no shortage of problems with Scotland’s education system that have been highlighted in the Scottish Parliament.

Time and time again, I have contributed to debates about issues such as Scotland’s curriculum or the need to close the attainment gap in our schools.

But, last month, the Scottish Conservatives held a debate to highlight something which has gone unaddressed for far too long – the problem of violence in Scottish schools.

Since 2017, nearly 75,000 verbal and physical attacks on teachers and staff have taken place in Scottish schools.

In the last year alone, around 200 weapons have had to be confiscated from pupils.

When speaking to one constituent about this issue, I heard first-hand of how a young girl had gone through several instances of bullying, only for her father to discover that these hadn’t even been properly recorded by the school.

A lack of action ultimately led to this young girl missing 18 months of classes because of what she went through.

Many other MSPs across Parliament have spoken of equally tragic situations from their own areas.

The message from all of this is clear – these are not one-off occurrences and they are not isolated incidents. They are a sign that real change is needed to keep pupils safe at school.

Further evidence on this issue comes from the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights, who have revealed that 61% of Scottish schools are failing to record and report incidents of bullying properly.

Many teachers and other school staff are reportedly being discouraged from reporting these incidents for fear of the potential consequences – something which is only making this problem worse.

Last year, I raised the issue of violence in our schools directly with the SNP Government’s Education Secretary, only to be told this issue wasn’t her responsibility.

Unfortunately, this response was typical of the Scottish Government’s approach on this issue.

It is a positive sign that the SNP were finally forced to U-turn as a result of last month’s debate on this issue and have committed to holding a summit on how we can tackle violence in our schools – but further action will still be needed.

The Scottish Government must also commit to other measures which I and my Scottish Conservative colleagues have called for, such as a national framework to ensure that violent incidents in our schools are accurately reported and we have clear guidance on exclusion policies so that our teachers no longer feel powerless when faced with violence in their own classrooms.

Politicians from all parties, along with parents, teachers and pupils, would all agree that our schools should be safe places for young people to learn, grow and develop but it is time to accept that, for a significant number of pupils and teachers, this is far from the case as it stands.

Proper action on this issue is urgently needed and I will continue to highlight this problem until we see it.