British pupils plot gang crimes, smoke, bully teachers

London, April 1 (IANS) Many teachers in Britain are reluctant to use measures against misbehaving pupils who do not hesitate to threaten or assault them, according to a teachers survey.

The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) said some teachers have found their ability as a teacher questioned after reporting children, BBC reported.

Delegates described children smoking in class or plotting gang-related crimes in school.

A survey of about 12,000 teachers from across the country found that one in seven teachers has been physically assaulted.

And eight in 10 said they have been verbally abused by a pupil in the past year.

Maria Hesson, a teacher from Birmingham, described cases where pupils had “threatened teachers with assault and violence”, “invaded personal space” and smoked out of the window during lessons.

There have also been “gang-related issues” in the classroom, she said, where pupils were apparently plotting to take other children’s mobile telephones, BBC reported.

Union executive Paul Desgranges said that one school head told pupils at a school assembly that if they were behaving badly, it was because their teachers were “not reaching them”.

Head teachers’ leaders have rejected claims they are not doing enough to support teachers to tackle bad behaviour.

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