Rise in violence recorded against council staff in 2015

Classroom violence picture to illustrate assaults on teachers. ( No school or pupil identity  to be used )
Classroom violence picture to illustrate assaults on teachers. ( No school or pupil identity to be used )

There was a rise in reported acts of physical aggression against Scottish Borders Council staff last year, with the bulk of the assaults occurring in schools.

There were 266 incidents recorded against all local authority employees in 2014, compared to 179 the previous year. Of last year’s total, 157 took place in schools, with 102 involving non-teaching staff and 55 in which teachers were the victims. Social care staff were subjected to 71 incidents of physical aggression.

In a Freedom of Information response to the public service union UNISON, the council revealed that six teachers and two non-teachers were the victims of “physical aggression with weapons” while an additional 31 teachers and 15 non-teaching staff encountered “verbal abuse and threats”.

Meanwhile the eradication of mice infestations has been the principal duty of pest control officers summoned to schools across the region so far this year.

SBC revealed that officers have been dispatched on no fewer than 45 occasions following a range of complaints.

Thirteen visits were in response to reports of mice infestations. There was just one report of a rat – in March in a portacabin at Heriot Primary.

Wasp infestations were found at Denholm, St Margaret’s RC (Galashiels), Langlee, Greenlaw, Wilton, Hawick High and Galashiels Academy.

The officers were called to eradicate ants at Tweedbank, Burnfoot, Sprouston, Earlston, Balmoral, Chirnside and Langlee primaries.

Moles were removed from the grounds of Sprouston, Broomlands, Lauder and Reston, and two reports of badgers in the nursery garden at Broughton in Peeblesshire were received.