Low-level violence ‘still a problem’ at East Lancashire schools

Low-level violence ‘still a problem’ at East Lancashire schools

Low-level violence ‘still a problem’ at East Lancashire schools

Ann Maguire

First published in News Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Education reporter

MORE mentors and support staff would help prevent violence in classrooms, according to an East Lancashire headteacher.

St John the Baptist primary head Kieran Heakin, who has been attacked twice in his career, once by a former pupil and also by a parent, spoke out following the death of Leeds teacher Ann Maguire, 61.

Mrs Maguire was knifed to death in front of pupils on Monday was just months away from retiring from Corpus Christi Catholic College where she had worked for more than 40 years.

Yesterday Mr Heakin’s Burnley school held an assembly where prayers were said for the family of 61-year-old mrs Maguire.

Mr Heakin said he had been very affected by the news, but said schools cannot become ‘jails’ filled with security guards.

In 2009, he was so savagely beaten by a former pupil that he lost his hearing and had to have four metal plates built into his face. Then in 2011, he was throttled and punched in his office by a parent visiting him.

However he said more attention should be given to pupils and their homelife before problems grow.

He said more learning mentors, staff members who focus on students’ personal problems, were the answer.

He said: “What has happened in Leeds is utterly tragic and is incredibly rare. This is the only time a teacher has been killed at school and violence at that level is not a common thing.

“However lower level violence is a problem but security and check points are not the answer because of the job schools have to do. You can’t talk to a parent or a pupil through a screen.

“There is more violence because pupils’ have lives which are more difficult than ever before.”

Union leaders said other teachers shared Mr Heakin’s concerns.

Blackburn NASUWT representative Claire Ward said: “A lot of teachers are trained to safely restrain pupils but some could do with more support.

“Learning mentors are excellent, especially in difficult schools. They get to know families and pupils and spot problems before they begin.

“The world has changed. There is more verbal and cyber abuse.”

Comments (5)

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12:54pm Wed 30 Apr 14

rudis_dad says...

Perhapsif we paid closer attention to parental responsibility first, rather than employing more mentors and teaching assistants we might do a bit better. Teachers are public servants whos duty is to deliver an academic education, not replacements to absolve unfit parents of their lack of care and duty to their offspring. If a child sees it's parent attack a teacher, what hope has the child got of understanding what is and what is not acceptable behaviour? Bring bad parents to book first.
Perhapsif we paid closer attention to parental responsibility first, rather than employing more mentors and teaching assistants we might do a bit better. Teachers are public servants whos duty is to deliver an academic education, not replacements to absolve unfit parents of their lack of care and duty to their offspring. If a child sees it's parent attack a teacher, what hope has the child got of understanding what is and what is not acceptable behaviour? Bring bad parents to book first. rudis_dad
  • Score: 14

1:03pm Wed 30 Apr 14

shytalk says...

Bring back the cane and see an instant improvement in behaviour
Bring back the cane and see an instant improvement in behaviour shytalk
  • Score: 5

2:31pm Wed 30 Apr 14

AnthonyUK says...

Parental responsibility which many parents lack these days should be brought into focus, and if the parents don't care and won't care and show a couldn't be bothered attitude their kids should be taken off them and put in secure care.
Parental responsibility which many parents lack these days should be brought into focus, and if the parents don't care and won't care and show a couldn't be bothered attitude their kids should be taken off them and put in secure care. AnthonyUK
  • Score: 8

3:05pm Wed 30 Apr 14

AnthonyUK says...

Teachers are not there to childmind they are there to teach!
Teachers are not there to childmind they are there to teach! AnthonyUK
  • Score: 10

4:07pm Wed 30 Apr 14

burner says...

Pupils in school behave according to adult examples set them. The greatest influence is parents. An individual teacher may only interact with a pupil one hour in a day. Parents SHOULD be guiding their own offspring 18 hours a day. . . . . . but they don't nowadays , do they ?
Pupils in school behave according to adult examples set them. The greatest influence is parents. An individual teacher may only interact with a pupil one hour in a day. Parents SHOULD be guiding their own offspring 18 hours a day. . . . . . but they don't nowadays , do they ? burner
  • Score: 6

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