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(UK) NI: SPED teachers at 'breaking point' over violence against staff

Mar 11, 2023, BBC News: Teachers reaching 'breaking point' at SEN schools, union says

Special needs teachers are reaching breaking point due to working conditions, including abuse, a teachers' union has said.

The NASUWT said some teachers have accepted "that being assaulted by pupils is part of the job".

The union held its annual conference in Belfast on Saturday addressing conditions experienced by teachers.

Teachers say the problem is bigger in the special needs sector where they say more support is needed.

Catriona Morgan said the issues are known, but a lack of funding means little has been done to help teachers.

Catriona Morgan, a teacher at a special needs school, said violence against staff is "very real".

She said there are strategic plans in place but there is "a lack of funding" and challenges with waiting lists and outside support.

The conference comes after some parents of SEN children said they face a "fight from day one" to get support from the Education Authority.

Paul Fitzpatrick, a special needs school representative, said there has been an increase in violence towards special needs teachers.

"There's thousands and thousands of cases every month and even mainstream teachers are now having more and more issues," he said.

Among other issues raised were teachers' salaries.

Teaching staff went on strike in February after unions and the Department of Education could not reach an agreement on salary increases to cope with the cost of living crisis….

Paul Fitzpatrick said there has been an increase in violence towards special needs teachers


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