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Why is school violence on the rise?

22 Apr 2024

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In recent times, both the UK and Ireland have witnessed a disturbing rise in violence directed towards teachers within schools. To effectively tackle this concerning issue, it's crucial to delve into the underlying causes and explore potential remedies.

Here we take a closer look at the factors contributing to the surge in school violence and propose a solution that can help create safer and more secure learning environments for both teachers and students.

Mental health challenges

Stress and anxiety are key factors in aggressive behaviour among school pupils. The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns are thought to have exacerbated mental health issues among young people, with increased rates of stress, worry, anxiety and loneliness being reported. Over 11,700 children and teenagers sought child and adolescent mental health services, highlighting the extent of the problem.

Young people grappling with depression and anxiety can direct their anger toward themselves and those closest to them. Given that a significant portion of students' weekly time is spent in school, this frustration often manifests towards teachers and peers.

Socioeconomic factors

The escalating number of children living in poverty is thought to contribute to growing frustration and violent behaviour among the youth. In 2022, the number of children enduring 'persistent' poverty surpassed 89,000 in Ireland, a staggering 40% increase in just a year. Rising costs of essential goods such as food and energy have strained families, impacting children's healthy development and increasing their susceptibility to behavioural and mental health issues.

The connection between poverty and its negative effects on behaviour was emphasised in a survey conducted by the National Education Union (NEU). The challenging socioeconomic environment faced by many families today has been linked with creating a tense environment in some classrooms.

Inadequate resources 

The shortage of Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) in schools across the UK and Ireland prevents staff from giving the highest quality of care to their students. Having to support multiple pupils simultaneously, they cannot sufficiently meet the needs of the individual.

Students with additional learning requirements struggle can with communication, sensory processing, emotional regulation, and social interaction. Such behaviours can manifest in frustration, anxiety, and aggressive behaviour toward those around them. The alarming number of teachers and SNAs seeking "assault leave" highlights the vulnerability of these professionals to violent incidents.


How Pinpoint's safety systems protect teachers 

A robust approach to addressing violence in the education systems in Ireland is greatly needed. By understanding the extent of the issue and implementing comprehensive strategies, including intelligent staff safety systems, we can work towards creating safe and secure learning environments for both staff and students.

Pinpoint's P2 System offers a powerful solution to attacks on teaching staff and pupils. Efficient, easy to use and discreet, the P2 system enables teachers to swiftly alert colleagues to an incident or emergency and de-escalate the situation accordingly.

Installing such systems within educational settings is critical to minimising harm toward teachers and ultimately improving learner outcomes for students.

Does your school require an efficient, reliable staff attack system? Get in touch with us to discuss your school safety needs.

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