School pupil behaviour ‘getting worse’ with even nursery-aged children ‘spitting and swearing’

The survey also revealed that nearly one in five teachers in England has been hit by a pupil this year.

Additionally, 30 per cent of teachers said they had witnessed pupils fighting during the week they responded to the questions.

40 per cent of teachers said they had witnessed aggressively violent behaviour that needed an intervention in a single week.


Lorraine Meah, who has been a primary school teacher for over three decades, said she has seen children at nursery “spitting and swearing”.

She added that five-year-olds have shown “dangerous tendencies” like throwing chairs.

Supply teacher, Zak Copley, echoed Meah’s comments saying on one occasion a pupil who had been sent out of class had then tried to break into the room with a cricket bat.

Copley added that on one occasion he had to pull pupils apart after they began “throwing punches” at each other, with the situation getting so bad that displays were “ripped off the wall”.

According to Dr Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT union, teachers reported that violence and abuse in schools “have risen considerably” since the pandemic.

Dr Roach added that this is compounded by cuts to specialist behaviour and mental health services for children.


A DfE spokesperson told GB News: “No teacher should feel unsafe or face violence in the workplace. We are taking decisive action to improve pupil behaviour so all schools are calm, safe, and supportive environments where pupils and staff can work in safety and are respected.

“Our £10m Behaviour Hubs programme aims to support up to 700 schools over three years to improve behaviour.

“We back head teachers to use exclusions when required. We’ve also doubled our mental health and wellbeing scheme for school leaders this year, backed by £1.1m.”

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