Teaching staff in Sutton have been the victims of hundreds of attacks from pupils, official figures have revealed.

Since 2009 there have been a total of 435 reports of staff being physically assaulted in Sutton’s schools, according to a freedom of information request by the Sutton Guardian.

Physical assaults include punching, slapping, head-butting, hair pulling and kicking. 

Even staff in nursery schools have complained of violence throughout the last five years.

This year alone 71 members of teaching staff in Sutton have reported physical assaults.

There were also 18 reports of verbal abuse and 12 reports of anti-social behaviour towards staff since 2009.

Out of the total of 465 attacks most of them occurred in the borough’s special schools (221) and primary schools (217) compared to Sutton’s secondary schools (24) and nursery schools (3). 

Government statistics recently revealed that more primary school children in Sutton are being temporarily excluded from school than in anywhere else in outer London.

The most common reasons for exclusions across the borough's schools were violence towards other pupils, violence towards teachers, verbal abuse, bullying and theft.

The statistics:

Your Local Guardian:

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said: "Regrettably teachers and support staff are suffering the backlash from deteriorating standards of behaviour.

“They are frequently on the receiving end of children's frustration and unhappiness, and have to deal with the fall-out from parents failing to set boundaries and family breakdowns.

"And the huge funding cuts to local services mean that schools often have to deal with children's problems without any help.

"Schools need to give their staff good and regular training so that they know how to work with students with behavioural or mental health problems and have confidence in handling pupils with challenging behaviour.

"Behaviour training also needs to be an integral part of teacher training."

A spokesperson for Sutton Council said: "We take every example of physical assault and anti-social behaviour seriously and deal with each one as it occurs.

"However, it is important to note that overall the figures are very low and Sutton’s schools are safe places where staff are able to concentrate on providing children with high-quality education."