Sept 8, 2018, Independent: Tens of thousands of school staff subject to 'truly disturbing' levels of violence in classroom amid funding cuts https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/school-funding-cuts-support-staff-violence-attacks-a8527906.html Nearly half of school support staff across England experience violence at work, with tens of thousands subject to attacks in the classroom on a weekly basis, new figures show. The government has been accused of failing to curb a “litany of violence” in schools as research reveals education staff are facing “truly disturbing” assaults such as being spat at, punched, bitten or having their hair cut off. A survey of 5,000 GMB members shows an estimated 70,000 support teachers, who earn as little as £12,000 [$16K US dollars] a year, experience violence in the classroom, with more than 23,000 saying they are attacked by pupils every week. In one case, a pregnant teaching assistant suffered a miscarriage after being kicked in the stomach. “I was pregnant and a child kicked me really hard I nearly fell down. After that incident I started bleeding and lost my baby,” she said…. Other members of staff reported having faeces thrown at them and being left with broken jaws, broken noses and requiring knee replacements. One described being bitten on the back of their arm, breaking the skin, and bitten through a fleece, jumper and T-shirt…. Separate figures, from January, showed the number of serious injuries suffered by education workers following violent assaults had surged by almost a quarter in five years. … One member of support staff at a secondary school in the West Midlands told The Independent she had to be prepared that she might be attacked verbally or physically every time she goes into work. “We have things thrown and children pushing teachers – the taller ones can be intimidating and try to show that they’re stronger than you. It’s not what you go to work for,” she said. “We recently had a girl threaten to stab people. She had a fork. We had a member of staff off for quite a long time because she was pushed and damaged her back. We had one teacher attacked and she ended up in hospital. … “We understand that children have got varying degrees of need, but the staff have got the right to be protected at work.” The support teacher, who earns around £12,500 a year, said she had noticed the issue getting worse in her seven years in the job in correlation with reduced funding. “We’ve also lost loads of staff in the past five years or so, so some children who require one to one support are not getting it. … It comes after the National Education Union (NEU) warned of a crisis of “epidemic proportions” in support for children with special educational needs or disabilities (Send), as schools reach “breaking point” due to funding cuts….