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Renfrewshire Council has today moved to clarify figures issued in respect of a Freedom of Information request on assaults against teachers.

A Renfrewshire Council spokesperson said, “These figures don’t give an accurate reflection of the position in Renfrewshire compared to other local authorities and don’t accurately represent the level of violence within local schools.

“We do all we can to minimise attacks and to protect and support our employees and this approach means we encourage all our employees to report any type of incident.

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“The bulk of these figures refer to verbal aggression or confrontation and not physical attacks. They also apply to all employees within the school while other local authorities have listed only those incidents involving teachers. However, we take all incidents extremely seriously and we work hard to reduce the number of violent incidents against our employees. We put a lot of work into supporting youngsters to change their behaviour. This includes working with parents. But where an incident merits an exclusion we are prepared to use that option.

“The Renfrewshire Council total for this Freedom of Information request includes all aggressive behaviour against all employees within schools giving a total of 277 incidents for 2013/14 for example.

“The number of incidents just involving teachers is 183.

“Out of these 126 incidents were verbal, including refusing to follow an instruction by a teacher.

“This leaves 57 incidents.

“The same approach was taken for the figures for earlier years.”