Full survey report can be found here: Borders-Violence-Survey-Report-1.pdf (unisonscotborders.org.uk)

Scottish Borders Council are being urged to take immediate action over violence in the council’s schools after new figures were published in a report by UNISON Scotland.

The report is based on a survey of education support staff and it paints a troubling picture of violence in educational settings across the Scottish Borders.

The union surveyed views from Additional Needs Assistants (ANAs), Early Years Practitioners (EYPs), and (any others) other essential education support roles.

Over 9 in 10 respondents (95%) reported experiencing or witnessing physical violence, ranging from verbal abuse, and even kicking and punching.

The union the council must take immediate proactive measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff and students.

Kaymarie Hughes, UNISON Borders branch secretary said “These findings are shocking. School staff should not have to face violence and aggression in their workplace. Scottish Borders Council must address this issue to the ensure safety and wellbeing of their staff.”

“UNISON has proposed a series of recommendations aimed at addressing workplace violence effectively, which could be actioned now. These include enhanced training and guidance for staff, improved ways staff can feedback, better risk assessments, and ways to support staff who need to report incidence.

We are also asking Scottish Borders Council to sign up to UNISON’s Violence at Work Charter, which commits employers to creating a safe and supportive work environment, free from violence and aggression.”

Notes to editor:

UNISON is the largest union representing school staff. The union’s members work in local government, NHS, police staff, education, social care, voluntary sector, scottish water and utilities. 

Key findings from the survey:

Chronic Nature of Violence: A significant majority of respondents reported experiencing violence multiple times a week, emphasising the serious nature of the issue.

Underreporting Phenomenon: Despite the prevalence of violence, less than half of respondents reported incidents they experienced or witnessed, indicating potential underreporting fuelled by fear of reprisal or perceived inaction.

Lack of Support and Feedback: The majority of respondents did not receive feedback from their employer after reporting incidents, with many expressing dissatisfactions with the employer’s outcome, highlighting a gap in resolution processes.

Full survey report can be found here: Borders-Violence-Survey-Report-1.pdf (unisonscotborders.org.uk)